DOWNEY - A Downey family is still grieving today after a 3-year-old boy died last Wednesday morning after inhaling toxic smoke billowing from a smoldering space heater.Around 9 a.m. paramedics responded to a call from a home on the 8500 block of Parrot Avenue after a small fire erupted from a heater releasing asphyxiating smoke into the child's bedroom. The room did not catch on fire, according to Downey public information officer Jason Patao, but the 3-year-old boy was pronounced dead and another child, an 11-year-old girl, was transported to a local hospital where she was later released. According to a report from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, the boy's death was ruled accidental due to inhalation of "smoke and smoldering plastics." No smoke detector was found in the bedroom or hallway, said Patao. "Is it common for people to die without a smoke detector - absolutely," said Patao soberly. "The really young and elderly are always more vulnerable to fire fatalities, but this hasn't happened in our city in a long time...it was a tragic accident."
********** Published: March 29, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 50