LOS ANGELES (AP) — Five people were injured, two critically, and a pet cat was killed when flames ripped through a hillside home and then spread to a neighboring house early Thursday in Los Angeles, authorities said.
One house was the home of Swedish reality TV star Gunilla Persson, who escaped along with her elderly mother, Iris, and daughter, Erika, 14.
Persson, who appears in “Svenska Hollywoodfruar,” or “Swedish Hollywood Wives,” told The Associated Press they were fortunate and that possessions can be replaced but lives cannot. Firefighters could not resuscitate one of her cats.
Persson said she got out of the house before her mother and was tempted to go back in and help her, but couldn’t risk going back to the second floor where she was.
“If I had tried to walk up through the flames, I could’ve died,” Persson told KNBC-TV. “My daughter wanted to go in and look for the cats and I said No. You cannot go into flames.”
Nearly 90 firefighters responded when the blaze erupted shortly after 2 a.m. in a Pacific Palisades neighborhood with winding roads and houses on compact lots, Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.
Crews found a couple and their two teenage daughters suffering from smoke inhalation, Scott said.
The 53-year-old woman and her 67-year-old husband were hospitalized in critical condition, he said. One of the victims suffered second-degree burns.
Scott said the elderly woman next door also suffered from smoke inhalation.
Firefighters saved a dog and cat. The flames were knocked down in about an hour.
The cause is under investigation. Officials are looking at a grassy corridor between the two homes as a possible ignition point.