Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


2-Year-Old Girl Still Critical After High-Rise Fire, Parents Thank Good Samaritans For Saving Her

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

The parents of a 2-year-old girl who was critically injured in a Brentwood high-rise fire Friday are grateful to two neighbors who saved her and her 69-year-old grandfather.

Ivo and Ava Gerscovich said they were out running errands when the fire broke out in the 25-story apartment building.

Two neighbors, Sasha Poparic and Pamela Day, who both live on the 22nd floor, found the girl and her grandfather, overcome by smoke in a stairwell.

"What I did was give her CPR right there. On the spot. And she came back and started puking blood and black [stuff] out of her mouth," Poparic told KCAL 9.

Support for LAist comes from

"You see a little girl in trouble and something just changes in your brain and you go into fix it mode," said Day. She told ABC 7 that she found firefighters and then led them to the girl and man. The firefighters were able to pull them out and give them CPR.

She and Poparic visited the Gerscoviches at UCLA Medical Center where their two family members remain hospitalized in critical condition.

"I have no doubt they saved our family's lives," Gerscovich said. "America saw those images yesterday and its very hard to watch," he told KCAL of news footage of his daughter wearing an oxygen mask and being wheeled into an ambulance.

Animal Services were able to rescue five dogs and four cats, Fox 11 reports, but the Gerscovich family lost their dog, a poodle, to the fire.

They are grateful to the Good Samaritans who saved their daughter and her grandfather. "I can't thank these two people enough. Words, words don't even begin to say it," an emotional Gerscovich said.

KCAL reports that floors 7-11 remain closed. A temporary shelter was set up for residents at nearby University High School.

An arson unit will be checking the electrical wiring as a possible cause for the fire, according to Fox. Officials estimate the damage is in the millions.

The building, which is more than 50 years old, did not have fire sprinklers since it was built before they became mandatory.

Photos: Fire Breaks Out In Brentwood High-Rise [UPDATED]