Update: June 28, 3:10 p.m.
A fire ripped through an East Bay Drive home just after midnight on Thursday, causing so much damage that the home is in the process of being demolished.
According to First Assistant Fire Chief Antonio Cuevas, the Long Beach Fire Department received a call shortly after midnight from the Long Beach Police Department about a house fire at 318 East Bay Drive after police were dispatched to the scene for a possible domestic dispute.
"The occupant said he was cooking in the kitchen, he went upstairs, came back and the house was on fire," Cuevas said. "The screaming was him screaming in the house. The next-door neighbor heard it and called because he thought someone was fighting, but it was him yelling in the house because the house was on fire."
The fire department arrived shortly after and encountered a fully involved house fire.
The fire took approximately 90 minutes to be extinguished due to a significant amount of trash and other contents found in the house, making it difficult to "attack" the fire. Cuevas described the house as a "Collyer mansion."
A Collyer mansion, according to TheFreeDictionary.com, is a term used by firefighters along the East Coast for debris and rubbish within a dwelling of such magnitude that emergency rescue efforts become difficult or impossible. The term is a reference to the Collyer brothers, hoarders who died in their extremely cluttered New York City home.
"It's destroyed. All of the interior walls, all of the contents, everything in the house was pretty much destroyed," Cuevas said. "... The house is actually set for demolition."
"I've deemed the building an unsafe structure and I'm working toward demolishing the house due to the extent of the damage," Commissioner of the Long Beach Building Department Scott Kemins confirmed with Patch.
Nobody was injured in the fire, Cuevas said. The homeowner was transported for evaluation only.
Residents close to a half-mile away said they could smell the smoke from their homes.
"I could smell the smoke on Vinton Street at 1 a.m.," resident Karen Dinan said. "I know the building was badly damaged."
"At 4 a.m it might have started up again," Dinan added. "There was more smoke smell in my house."
This is breaking news. Long Beach Patch will have more details on the fire when they are made available.