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Woman, 15 Cats Found Dead After House Fire

Firefighters cite 'packrat' conditions in the home. Twelve injured cats are rescued.

September 06, 2003|Monte Morin | Times Staff Writer

Firefighters discovered a woman's body in the ashes of an Altadena house fire Friday morning, along with the remains of 15 cats, authorities said.

The name of the woman, who appeared to be in her 40s, hadn't been released, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said.

The fire broke out about 11 p.m. Thursday in the house in the 2500 block of Devonshire Lane.

Firefighters said they encountered "packrat" conditions in the house, which probably stoked the fire.

"It was very hard to maneuver and get around in there," said Brendon Peart, a supervising dispatcher for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Firefighters recovered 12 injured cats and contacted county animal control authorities.

The fire apparently started in the living room, and the woman's body was found in a back room.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries when they were scratched by cats, officials said.

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