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LAFD crews work on fire at home in 100 block of South Savannah Street in Boyle Heights.

A faulty water heater that exploded appears to have been the cause of a fire Thursday morning in a home on the 100 block of South Savannah Street in Boyle Heights.

Resident Josefina González said she heard a loud explosion sometime after 10 am but did not become aware of the fire until a “good samaritan” passerby alerted her and helped her out of the house. The 82-year-old woman –who has lived in the corner house at Savanna and Second Street for nearly 35 years– said she was alone in the house she shares with three of her grandchildren.

González said she was somewhat shaken up but unhurt by the incident.

Photos by Antonio Mejías-Rentas

Los Angeles Fire Department Batallion Chief Steve Skelly said a call to 911 came around 10:30 and crews showed up at the scene minutes after and were able to contain the fire quickly. He said there was “significant damage to the back part” of the house on 152 South Savannah, where the fire started, and some damage to an upstairs room in the next door house, on 148 South Savannah.

Skelly said that preliminary investigation shows that the faulty water heater originated the fire. He said there were no personal injuries reported, but that a pet was still unaccounted for.

“There’s not a whole lot of damage but a lot of cleanup to be done,” Skelly said.

Antonio Mejías-Rentas

Antonio Mejías-Rentas is a Senior Editor at Boyle Heights Beat, where he mentors teenage journalists, manages the organization’s website and covers local issues. A veteran bilingual journalist, he's...

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