Woman, Dog Living in 'Packrat' Conditions Die in Van Nuys House Fire

An 80-year-old woman who had been living in her Van Nuys home since the 1960s died in the hospital this morning after a house fire burned 80 percent of her body, according to KNX news radio.

Her dog was also a victim of the blaze.

It took the L.A. city Fire Department 17 minutes to beat back the flames. When the smoke cleared...

... firefighters found that the woman had been living in "packrat" conditions, and that her house was "crammed with belongings," reports City News Service. They've put estimated damage at $100,000.

Reports of the fire on the 14000 block of West Leadwell Street came in just before 5 a.m. The 80-year-old Van Nuys resident died soon after at a nearby hospital.

Her dog was discovered already dead at the scene.

Earlier this month, on March 7, another Angeleno died in a "packrat" house fire down in Watts. Similar tragedies also occurred in 2009, at hoarder homes in both Eagle Rock and North Hollywood, though the only casualties of the latter were three housecats.


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