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Trapped by Blaze at Home, Family Leaps to Safety

November 20, 1994

WOODLAND HILLS — A husband and wife held their 4-year-old son and jumped out a second-story window early Saturday when they were awakened by a fire that whipped through their home and trapped them upstairs, authorities said.

The three family members, who fire officials would not identify, were treated for minor injuries and smoke inhalation and released from Kaiser Foundation Hospital, said Assistant Chief Jim Young of the Los Angeles Fire Department. There were no other injuries.

Firefighters were called about 2:40 a.m. by a neighbor on the 20000 block of Gorgonia Street, a wooded mountain road just south of the Woodland Hills Country Club.

Another neighbor heard screams and turned a garden hose on the blaze, Young said, "but the fire was so intense he couldn't make any progress on it."

It took about 55 firefighters and three water-dropping helicopters more than 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze and keep it from spreading to the area's heavy brush or other homes, Young said.

Young said authorities suspect the fire was a result of electrical problems; the family told investigators they had problems Friday night with an upstairs circuit breaker.

The fire burned completely through the second and third floors of the home, Young said. A portion of the roof collapsed under an air-conditioning system, which then fell into the house, he added.

City Fire Spokesman Bob Collis said the blaze caused about $325,000 damage.

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