Garage fire takes life of woman

first_imgThere were no signs of foul play, said Lt. Joe Bale, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. Hampton was eating dinner when she heard a commotion outside. Frenzied neighbors urged her to flee. Still in shock, Hampton said Thursday of Seegar, “she is a very sweet lady. She always had nice things to say to people and always appeared happy.” The fire started in the first-floor garage before flames licked the second-floor apartment above. Authorities were alerted at 6:37 p.m.; firefighters arrived five minutes later and doused the flames within 20 minutes, said Jason Hurd, a spokesman for the county Fire Department. They found the victim’s charred body inside the garage of the stucco Terrace Apartments complex in the 21200 block of Bottletree Lane. No one else was injured, officials said. Witnesses said the garage had been jammed with boxes, a computer, shelves, pillows, loads of books, an armoire and other items. Representatives of the company that owns the complex did not return calls seeking comment Thursday. Santa Clarita inspectors who evaluated the building’s structural integrity Thursday morning pronounced it sound, with just some smoke and water damage. They found a car housed in the garage to the right of Seegar’s blackened by flames. Some belongings in Hampton’s garage, to the left of Seegar’s, were water damaged but appeared otherwise unharmed. The cause of the fire had not been determined. [email protected] (661) 257-5255160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “When they opened up the garage, it was like a back-draft,” said Andi Hampton, Seegar’s next-door neighbor. “It was the scariest day of my life … it was like a bomb went off, there was so much fire … billowing out of here.” Some were frustrated by their helplessness after hearing the screams from deep inside the tandem two-car garage, out of reach. “The first time I came out I heard her screaming,” said Jenny Bowen, 21, who quickly called authorities. “My fiance had a fire extinguisher.” “They couldn’t get to her,” added Bowen’s mom, Lorrie Foster, 43, another neighbor. “My son-in-law was trying to help spray the fire, but it was so intense. It’s sad. She was nice; really quiet. I feel really sorry for the family.” Seegar might have lit a candle in the garage, where she had been staying temporarily for the past couple of days, neighbors said. NEWHALL – A woman who’d recently been evicted from her apartment and was living amid clutter in the unit’s garage is believed to be the victim who died Wednesday night when flames engulfed the makeshift living quarters, trapping her inside, nearby residents said Thursday. A spray of carnations, a single pink rose, a trio of pillar candles and family photo picturing the woman marked the spot of her death the morning after. The coroner was unable to confirm the victim’s identity Thursday, but neighbors believe her to be Darcy Seegar, 52. Neighbors frantically tried to rescue the woman Wednesday night after alerting authorities – smashing the glass on nearby fire extinguisher boxes, arming themselves with the foam-filled canisters – but they were no match for the blistering heat and dense smoke. last_img read more