December 14, 2007

Zoning nighmare

This is why allowing people to live in converted garages is a bad idea. Take note Lakewood and dont follow Long Beach's path just to accommodate multiple families living at one address. Very bad idea. Using political correctness over safety to make zoning decisions.

UPDATE: LA Times gets the story wrong (below) was an illegal conversion per LB Report. Same message above still applies. Allowing resident to cram people into garages or substandard dwellings and trying to accommodate it zoning wise or look the other way is the wrong path to go down.,0,1210649.story?coll=la-headlines-california
From the Los Angeles Times
Long Beach fire leaves 2 girls dead, 1 critical
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

7:32 AM PST, December 14, 2007

Two sisters, ages 6 and 10, died this morning in Long Beach and their 7-year-old sister was in critical condition after a fire broke out in the converted garage where they slept, trapping the three in their windowless bedroom, fire officials said.

The girls' 17-year-old sister, who was also sleeping in the detached garage at 1052 1/2 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., awoke to the smell of smoke and ran to a nearby building to call 911 about 2 a.m., said Long Beach Fire Capt. Mike Duree. She then tried to return to the burning building to rescue her sisters, Duree said, but the heat and smoke forced her back.

The 500-square-foot garage, which had been legally converted to living space, did not have smoke detectors or a sprinkler system, Duree said. Although divided into two rooms, only the front area had a window and a door. The fire started in that area, officials believe, blocking the only exit.

"They would have had to go directly through the fire to flee," Duree said.

Firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after the 911 call and fought back the flames, but when they reached the young sisters all were unconscious. The injured sister is being treated at Long Beach Memorial Hospital.

Officials believe the fire started near an outlet in the living room but were still investigating, Duree said. There was no Christmas tree in the room that could have ignited the blaze, he said.

Duree said that although calling for help when a fire erupts is crucial, the first priority should be to get everyone out of the building.

"The first thing you've got to do is take care of yourself and your family. We can rebuild homes but we cannot rebuild lives," he said.

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | | Lakewood, CA
A California Non Profit Association | Demanding action and accountability from local government™

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