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Mother, Daughter Missing After Fire In Compton [UPDATED]

(Photo by John Hanley/Shutterstock)
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A 42-year-old mother and her 12-year-old daughter are missing after a fire at a two-story building in Compton.

City News Service reports that firefighters spent around 90 minutes fighting a stubborn fire at a building at 4300 East Compton Blvd. They responded around about 2 a.m., Los Angeles County Fire Dispatch Supervisor Robert Diaz told CNS.

The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting through the roof of the building, Diaz said.

County fire Inspector Scott Miller said there was a mechanic's shop on the building's first floor and a loft on the upper floor, where the mechanic, his wife and their four children lived.

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The man and three children got out safely, but the whereabouts of the woman and a daughter were unknown, Miller said. The flames were out at 3:24 a.m., Fox 11 reports. Firefighters then searched through debris for embers still burning and for anyone who might have been inside.

A cadaver dog was brought in to assist in the search of the rubble. The building was described as having "pack rat'' conditions, Miller said.

A firefighter suffered a minor leg injury fighting the blaze and was transported to a
hospital for treatment, Miller said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

UPDATE, 1:44 P.M. ABC 7 reports that human remains have been found in the burned-out building.

Authorities say the mechanic and three of the children who lived above the shop were able to make it out of the building, but they were unable to locate the wife and a daughter.

Neighbors say they were woken up by what sounded like explosions. "It sounded like a big explosion. I thought it was an earthquake at first," neighbor Reginald Simms told ABC 7.

Fire crews say the explosions could have been propane tanks or the loft collapsing.

Code enforcement officers were also at the scene, trying to determine if the loft was up to code.

UPDATE, 10:31 A.M.: Fox 11 reports that the loft was a "makeshift" one and that firefighters found drug paraphernalia outside the building.

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