Fatal blaze: 'It was just a raging fire; it was horrible,' neighbor says

October 21, 2013
  • Burbank firefighters battle a house fire at 910 Evergreen St., which left a 69-year-old woman dead and two othersinjured.
Burbank firefighters battle a house fire at 910 Evergreen… (Ross A. Benson )

A house fire that claimed the life of a 69-year-old woman and injured two others Saturday night grew to a deadly strength very quickly, according to a neighbor.

The woman, identified by Los Angeles County coroner’s officials as Irmhild Marcaccio, died at the hospital of smoke inhalation.

Two others, her son and daughter-in-law, were hospitalized with minor burn injuries. An animal control officer was also reportedly called for a dead dog.

Just after 9 p.m. on Saturday, Burbank resident Rena McCann heard a loud bang coming from her next-door neighbor’s house and ran outside.

Her neighbor’s house – located in the 900 block of Evergreen Street – was fully engulfed in flames, and inside, Marcaccio could be heard screaming for help, McCann said.

McCann dialed 911 while her husband quickly turned on their garden hose and aimed it over the wall separating their home from their neighbor’s.


At that point, the flames were already burning several feet above the house.

“It was just a raging fire; it was horrible,” McCann said Monday morning outside her Burbank home.

After about two minutes, the screaming stopped, she added.

“(The fire) was well on its way before we even knew anything about it,” said Lee McCann, Rena McCann’s brother-in-law.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 9:21 p.m., and arrived shortly thereafter, according to Deputy Fire Marshal Jorge Martinez.

The blaze was knocked down in roughly 40 minutes by 18 firefighters. Equipment included three engines, a truck and a rescue ambulance, he added.

Firefighters pulled Marcaccio out of the house, and performed CPR while transporting her to the hospital, where she died.

The loss is currently estimated at $300,000 to the structure and $50,000 to its contents, according to Burbank Fire Battalion Chief Steve Briggs.

Upon firefighters’ arrival, Marcaccio’s son and daughter-in-law were attempting to reenter the home because Marcaccio was trapped inside, Martinez said.

The McCanns said the house, which Marcaccio had been renting for more than two decades, had not had electricity for months, though officials could not confirm this.

Six weeks ago, Marcaccio moved back home after roughly five months in rehabilitation following hip replacement surgery, Rena McCann said. Around the time of Marcaccio’s surgery, her son had moved into the home to help take care of his mother, she added.

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