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UPDATE: Newhall home burns early Monday

Cause of fire is believed to be electrical

Posted: September 3, 2012 8:59 a.m.
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:11 p.m.

Ashley Oillataguerre, left, and Maddy Anderson look through a book picked up amid the charred remains of the family room of the Oillataguerre home in Newhall on Monday. Jonathan Pobre/The Signal

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An early morning fire that heavily damaged a Newhall home Monday is believed to have been caused by an electrical failure.

“I woke up in the middle of the morning hearing crackling sounds,” said Peter Oillataguerre, 45, who works as a producer for MGM on movies such as “Meet the Fockers” and “27 Dresses.”

“I thought it might be my neighbor’s house. I got out of bed and quickly realized my TV room was on fire.”

After Oillataguerre’s neighbors told him they had called firefighters, the man grabbed his hose to try to stop the flames but quickly realized he was out-matched.

Oillataguerre was home alone at the time of the fire, and no one was hurt, he said.

Firefighters responded to the home in the 24400 block of Arcadia Street just before 6 a.m. and discovered one side of the house in flames, said Fire Capt. Paul Peppard of Fire Station 73.

“The first arriving unit had heavy fire and smoke conditions,” Peppard said.

“The fire had already been established for quite a while.”

Firefighters received the call at 5:52 a.m. and responded at 5:57 a.m., according to Peppard.

“I think we had it knocked down in about 20 minutes,” Peppard said.

The fire is believed to be caused by a short in a component from TV and stereo equipment in the room Oillataguerre jokingly referred to as the “man cave.”

The parts of the house that didn’t burn sustained severe smoke damage, and an initial damage estimate performed by firefighters on scene was more than $300,000, including contents.





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