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TENANT DIES IN HOME BLAZE THREE OTHERS DISPLACED.

Byline: Naush Boghossian Staff Writer

GLENDALE - An early morning fire at a Glendale apartment complex was fatal for one man and left three people homeless Tuesday, authorities said.

Christopher Titler, 32, was unconscious and already might have been dead when firefighters pulled him from his burning apartment in the 1500 block of North Verdugo Road, officials said.

``It was a serious fire and obviously a tragic ending,'' said Glendale Fire Chief Chris Gray. ``The smoke detector seems to have been activated, but regardless of getting there in a few minutes, it is likely the individual was gone before our arrival.''

Titler, who suffered second- and third-degree burns to nearly 30 percent of his body, was pronounced dead at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

A second tenant was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and was transported to Glendale Adventist.

``It was very fortunate that there weren't further injuries,'' Gray said. ``The firefighters made a quick attack, limiting the fire to one unit, and fortunately were quickly able to put the fire out.''

It took 51 firefighters 15 minutes to contain the fire, which broke out just before 4 a.m. One apartment was destroyed, while others were damaged by smoke and water, displacing three tenants, officials said.

Authorities estimated the damage at $325,000.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

The victim's mother and sister arrived at the apartment building sobbing and in shock.

His mother, looking stunned, said her only son had called her Monday at 10 p.m. to say good night - his nightly ritual.

``Is he dead? Do you think he's in heaven?'' the distraught woman asked neighbors. ``I hope he didn't suffer.'' Titler had lived in the building since 1996.

``He was a very nice man. I saw him around,'' said the apartment's assistant manager, Joe Iaquinto, who also lives in the building.

Shawna Larson, the apartment complex's property manager, said Titler's family told her he liked to burn candles and was a smoker.

Iaquinto said he called 911 after waking up to the sound of glass shattering and an alarm going off.

``We saw the smoke coming out and realized it was a fire,'' Iaquinto said.

Naush Boghossian, (818) 546-3306

naush.boghossian(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 26, 2003
Words:372
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