Hollywood Hills House Fire Damage Estimated at $110,000

The cause of house fire in the Hollywood Hills where firefighters rescued nine pets was determined to be electrical.

The owner of a Hollywood Hills home where firefighters saved nine animals from a blaze on was feeling grateful when Hollywood Patch caught up with him Friday.

Andy Jermstad, who was working late, came home to what he thought was a vandalized home, but quickly realized a tragedy had occured.

"My animals are my family," Jermstad said. "I want to tell the firefighters 'thank you.' They saved as many animals as they could and I'm very grateful for that."

Late Wednesday night firefighters forced entry into the smoke-filled home and encountered pets trying to escape the fire. A total of nine pets were rescued including four dogs and five cats. Two dogs and two cats were beyond medical help, according to authorities.

The incident caused the closure of Laurel Canyon Boulevard in both directions to traffic past midnight from Lookout Mountain Avenue to Mulholland Drive.

The cause of the fire on the 2700 block of Laurel Canyon Road was categorized as electrical, said Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. Specifics on the cause were not available.

The blaze, which was confined to the kitchen and extinguished in about 20 minutes, resulted in an estimated $110,000 in damage, Humphrey said.

No people were inside the house and the fire was extinguished at 10:22 p.m. No one was reported injured.

Cassandra M. Bellantoni May 21, 2011 at 06:35 PM
My heart goes out to Andy Catt. Obviously structures can be replaced but losing a pet is losing a family member. Wishing Andy and his family all the best. Knowing the fire department sees every life is precious and will do whatever they can to save pets, I feel a lot better about my own dogs. Here are a couple of great sites to help factor pets into emergency plans. There's a pet toolkit here : http://www.ready.gov/america/getakit/pets.html General Info: http://www.avma.org/
Los Angeles Fire Department May 21, 2011 at 11:22 PM
Cassandra and Lindsey, Thank you for your continued interest in this story. We appreciate you sharing this touching video, and wish we could somehow have done more for Andy and his beloved pets. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service, Brian Humphrey Firefighter/Specialist Public Service Officer Los Angeles Fire Department http://LAFD.ORG
victoria kuhl June 18, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Hi, this is Victoria, I live with Andy here at the Laurel Canyon house that caught fire on May 18. We both want you to know how much we appreciate what the firefighters did for us. Not only did they save five of our pets, but saved the rest of the house from destruction. So we are both very grateful. FYI, there is going to be a benefit concert to help raise money to repair the damage to Andy's house. As you might have read in the Patch, the damage is estimated to be about 110 thousand dollars and there is no insurance. I've let Mike S. at Patch know about the event, but here's the link if you would like to check it out! http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=152335571506542 Best wishes, Victoria


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