Authorities ID Man and Woman Killed in House Fire; Investigation Continuing

Firefighter spray water fighting

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MAR VISTA (CNS) - Authorities Thursday identified a man and woman who died in a Mar Vista house fire that also killed their pet cat, and the investigation was continuing to determine the cause of the blaze.

Firefighters sent to the 3500 block of South May Street at 2:22 a.m. Wednesday found the house engulfed in flames, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Albert Sassoe Jr., 65, and Doris Bergmann, 68, died at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

"The first arriving 20 LAFD personnel ... had the intense blaze -- which largely involved the kitchen and living room -- fully extinguished at 2:50 a.m.," Humphrey said in a statement.

"In searching the premises, firefighters located a man, woman and pet cat lifeless inside the burnt home," Humphrey said. "Beyond medical or veterinary assistance, they were determined to be dead at the scene."

No other injuries were reported, Humphrey said.

"There was no immediate evidence that the 1,096 square-foot residence was equipped with functional smoke alarms, as required by law," Humphrey said. "The 73-year-old building did not feature optional residential fire sprinklers. Though foul play is not suspected, the cause of the deadly blaze remains the focus of an active Los Angeles Fire Department investigation."

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