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UPDATE: 'Hoarding Conditions' Intensified Monrovia House Fire

Two people lost their house when it burst into flames Sunday, a fire official said.

A devastating fire destroyed a Mayflower Avenue home Sunday morning and "hoarding conditions" inside the house appear to have contributed to the fire's intensity, a fire official said.

Firefighters responded to the call in the 300 block of North Mayflower at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Monrovia Fire Chief Christopher Donovan said.

"The residents tried to self-extinguish and were forced out of the house," Donovan said. "They then grabbed a garden house and attempted to put out the fire with a garden hose."

Donovan said the delay caused by the residents waiting to call 9-1-1 allowed the fire to spread more quickly than it would have if authorities were called immediately.

"Hoarding conditions" present inside the home "intensified the fire" and made the fire more difficult to extinguish, Donovan said.

The home is a complete loss and damage is estimated at about $300,000 for the home and property inside.

The cause of the fire was a heating pad on a blanket in the bedroom that overheated, Donovan said. No injuries were reported but the two occupants of the house have now been displaced, he said.

Janie Duncan January 29, 2013 at 03:26 AM
I was just in contact with the family and they will know more Tuesday about what the folks need. They plan to come to the Thrift store about 1pm and get some clothes. If you would like to help you may come to the store tomorrow and drop off donations for these elderly people. The man is a size XL and the woman a medium and a size 6 shoe. I have some sheets sets but could use some blankets and pillows and towels. I put together a bag of toiletries. Come on Monrovians Step up and have a heart.
Jill Pyeatt January 29, 2013 at 04:50 AM
Janie, if they'll accept a Target gift card, I have one that I can take by your house. I wish I was able to do more.
Gayle M. Montgomery January 29, 2013 at 06:52 AM
Sign up for the Arcadia Freecycle Chapter and post the need. Usually, the first thing you post is something you have to give away, and it could be anything (even a coupon sometimes). Reference this article in your posting. Then make a succinct list of items. The moderator on that list can be kind of finicky, but you may be able to get it through. Someone will have to pick the things up. But what that will do for you is to put you in touch with people whose nature is to give things away. In addition to the thrift store mentioned, there is a HUGE thrift store with very reasonably priced items in Covina on Arrow Highway west of Grand, the Community Thrift Store (I believe). If they are set up in another place to live and insurance affords them this (i.e., they're fire insurance pays something), refurbished appliances (stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers) can be purchased for very cheap at The Covina Trading Post on San Bernardino Rd between Barranca and Grand in Covina (north side of the street, hole in the wall). Folks in there are nice and delivery is reasonable. Maybe someone can identify specifically what these folks need once they have been relocated, and the community can do a drop off. Let's not forget the woman whose home burned Friday looking for her dog.
Ron January 29, 2013 at 02:58 PM
I found the hoarding tidbit to be inappropriate and insensitive as well. Not only do these poor people have to deal with the aftermath of losing their home but now they have to deal with stigma of being classified as hoarders. In the future i would suggest a little more tact when reporting on such things Mr. McIntire.
Janie Duncan January 29, 2013 at 04:53 PM
That would be terrific. Jill. Is there any way you can bring it to the thrift store today before 2?

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