Woman, 12 cats found dead in Sylmar house fire

Authorities Tuesday identified a woman found dead in a fire at a home in Sylmar, as investigators continued their efforts to determine the cause of the blaze.

Firefighters were sent to the 14300 block of Tyler Street about 10:45 p.m. Monday, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange.

"After entering the burning building, firefighters found an unresponsive ... female, brought her outside and began resuscitative measures," Prange said in a statement. "Sadly, she was beyond medical help, and after over 20 minutes of attempting to resuscitate her, she was declared dead on scene. It took 30 firefighters 20 minutes to fully extinguish the fire."

The woman was identified as 71-year-old Dree Elizabeth Salahor, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported. An autopsy was pending to determine her cause of death.

"In addition to the victim, approximately 12 cats were also found dead at the scene," Prange said in a statement. "It is unclear how many of the cats died as a result of the fire."

There were no functional smoke alarms found at the scene, Prange said.

"The building sustained significant damage due to the fire and prior weather damage, and city officials have deemed it uninhabitable and it will be yellow-tagged by the Department of Building and Safety," Prang said.

"Per protocol for a fatal fire, the LAFD Arson/Counter Terrorism Section is investigating the cause of the fire," Prange said.