Mother and son dead in massive two-story house fire

- A 77-year-old man jumped to safety after a pre-dawn blaze tore through his Hyde Park home Thursday, but his wife and adult son died in the fire, authorities said.

The greater-alarm blaze in the 3,600-square-foot home at 4245 W. 62nd St. was reported at 1:40 a.m., said Shawn Lenske of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Lenske said 78 firefighters were sent to the scene before the blaze was declared out 49 minutes later.

Killed were a 74-year-old woman and her 48-year-old son, said Margaret Stewart of the LAFD. Their names were withheld, pending notification of their relatives. The bodies were charred, coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.

The older man was taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, Stewart said. He escaped by jumping to the ground from the burning building, and was not injured in the jump, Stewart said.

Witnesses told investigators that the younger man went back into the burning residence, Stewart said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. A damage estimate was not immediately available. Arson investigators were called to the scene. "It's standard procedure to have arson investigators sent to the scene
whenever there is a fatality,'' Lenske said.

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