LA activists are certain that transgender woman Viccky Gutierrez died in the fire that gutted her south LA apartment. The Coroner hasn’t identified the body found as that of Viccky Gutierrez, or the cause of death but the fire department has deemed the blaze suspicious.
Trans Latina activist Bamby Salcedo calls the death of her friend murder.
And according to Salcedo, friends who arrived at the fire said the air reeked of gasoline but were asked by the police not to say anything about it.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 3:16 AM on January 10, 2018, to 1721 South New Hampshire Avenue in the Pico-Union area, where firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy smoke and flames showing from the second floor of a two story residential triplex.
Sixty firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Timothy Kelly fought their way through thick smoke to battle the inferno, soon discovering the remains of one person beyond medical help inside the burning residence. No other injuries were reported.
The blaze was confined to the unit of fire origin and large attic above, and fully extinguished in just 48 minutes.
Though one or more smoke alarms were present in the heavily damaged upstairs unit, their functional status at the time of the blaze could not be immediately determined. No obvious factors were noted that could impede the emergency egress of occupants from the 2,149 square-foot premises. The 116 year-old structure was not equipped with optional residential fire sprinklers.
A positive identification of the deceased person, as well as the cause, time and manner their death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
The cause of the fire, which is considered “suspicious”, remains under active investigation by Police and Fire Department Investigators.
Salcedo has raised over $5,000 of the $10,000 goal in the first 24 hours of a GoFundMe to send Viccky Gutierrez home to Honduras for a proper burial.
Hundreds have indicated they will be attending Viccky’s Vigil of Resistance to be held Friday, January 12 at 7 PM – 10 PM PST at 1660 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006-46333
R.I.P. Viccky Gutierrez