Fire kills 1, injures 5

Fire kills 1, injures 5

There are 61 comments on the Long Beach Press-Telegram story from Jun 19, 2008, titled Fire kills 1, injures 5. In it, Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that:

A house fire in a converted garage in Bellflower early Thursday morning left one woman dead and five others injured, authorities said.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Long Beach Press-Telegram.

BULLDOGG

Fairport, NY

#46 Jun 26, 2008
MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE HUNKIN FAMILY. I DID NOT KNOW THE THE FAMILY, BUT I LIVE ON CEDAR AND WOULD SEE THEM HAVING FAMILY GATHERINGS WHEN I DRIVE PAST THE HOUSE. THEY SEEM LIKE A STRONG, TIGHT KNIT FAMILY.MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO YOU IN YOUR TIME OF STRUGGLE.
taisha

Chesterfield, MO

#47 Jun 27, 2008
Hey Rema,
Damn it's been a long time since I've seen you. It's so sad about what happened to Lenee. How have you been?
knows the family

Long Beach, CA

#48 Jun 28, 2008
You know common sense is to keep your negative comments to yourself. Who have you helped by your comment? What awareness have you brought to the table and to say that the more culturers come the more this will happen? So with your none cultural self you mean to tell me that this can't happen to you?? Common sense you say? you don't know anything about it.
KATHY wrote:
SAD......BUT...this is a common sense issue. Most of the time someone would be cooking in the garage. This summer there will be a lot of deaths due to common sense issues,and also incidents of parental neglect due to heat(leaving babies/kids in cars),and drownings.. Again this comes down to "common sense". The more new flow of cultures that come in, the more deaths there will be because of common sense issues... Again condolences to the family,but people need to get a clue,and learn to know right from wrong. Ignorance is not a good thing to stay in generation, to generation. Sorry again...But this won't be the last tragic story.. Some people embrace ignorance..
family1st

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

#49 Jun 29, 2008
This post is to Kathy...they said that the cause of the fire was under investigation...seems ignorant that you spoke before all of the facts are out there...do this family (which I do not know personally) a favor and keep your thoughtless comments to yourself...
Bill Weir

Ukiah, CA

#50 Jun 29, 2008
90% of the people who post here are booger eating morons. Reality is... this person died needlessly. Whether it was an electrical short or whatever, a life was lost, and that is sad. In these times, there should be no reason for a person to die because of this sort of thing. Maybe if the Fire Department had been there sooner, the outcome would have been different, who knows.

Sad... very sad. Stop hating people!!! Its time to stop with the selfish rhetoric that only hurts
A Neighbor

Beaumont, CA

#51 Jun 29, 2008
Not again wrote:
This can't be, not another death because of people living in a converted garage. Well, this time it is the City of Bellflower who must grapple with code enforcement/safety issues. One dead, five people injured (four are children), is that not enough of a wake up call for people to stop living in these dangerous converted garages? Neighbors should report families that are living in converted garages, it might save lives. Don't let this happen, not again!
A family is grieving over the loss of a wife, an aunt, and just a loved family member, and you have the nerve to talk trash about how they were living. Have some respect!
DjLiddldee WS Santa Ana

Santa Ana, CA

#52 Jun 30, 2008
I truly love and miss my friend. Her mother Lillian, expressed to me that Lenee spoke to her often about our friendship and that meant the world to me. I know I'll be seeing her soon and we'll party and rejoice all over again, so to my girl..."KEEP SMILIN' BIG MOMMA, THE DJ LOVES YOU AND HE'S PLAYING YOUR SONG!!"
love,
djliddldee (aka Derek J. Bordeaux)
GeE

Daly City, CA

#53 Jun 30, 2008
Im so happy we got to come to see you this weekend! We love you soo much!! Please watch over all of us and tell Papa we said hello as well as everyone else..I know youre havin a ball up there! Safe journey and well see you in the morning!
Love,
Your Asuega/Afoa Cousins
Momma Donna

Houston, TX

#54 Jul 1, 2008
I wish each negative writer could spend one minute with this family. The love would purify your heart and you would know that they did nothing wrong but unite as a family...something the rest of the US should do instead of disembarking on your fellow man.
My prayers are extended to each family member and friend who was affected by this tragedy. Remember: after each storm there comes a rainbow.
Love and prayers, Momma Donna
Bonny M

Los Angeles, CA

#55 Jul 1, 2008
I have read some great things on here and some not so great things. First of all grief brings pain and some of these posts are even more painful to the grieving family. It doesnít matter if she died bungee jumping or if she died in a garage, the bottom line is that we lost someone really near and dear and no amount of fingerpointing or what ifs will ever bring her back. Yes, the city codes exist in order to protect us, laws exist to protect us, but that doesnít mean we donít break the law of driving 55mph or drop litter here or there, so the point is moot because it resulted in tragedy.
When I met Lenee Ė she either liked you or she didnít and you knew whether she did or didnít. There was no guessing with her. But over the last several years I have watched her grow. I have watched her lay down her anger, I have watched her accept the fact that everything that transpired in her life was an inherent part of her journey. Lenee learned how to accept the unacceptable and understand what others couldnít make sense of. She was creative and innovative, those were her gifts. I remember a candy bar basket she made me and for each candy bar there was a scripture text or something positive attached to the candy bar. I remembered thinking how creative it was, because I would have never thought of it and I remember how precious it was because there was so much thought put into it. The old Lenee would have been too angry to do that. She was evolving each and every day into a Woman of God.
Grief is survivable. We persevere and grow despite the most tragic circumstances. We do not know our own strength, or our capacity to get through this. The human spirit and our connections to each other help us to meet the challenges of grief and to emerge with a new sense of hope and even joy. I know it is hard, but donít respond to the negativity, donít allow the enemy to creep in that way. Remember, he comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Leneeís life was not in vain. Despite what others may see as imperfection, she was created in the image of God, She was a woman who came to seek after God daily and nothing is going to change the level of excitement she had when she learned something new from Godís word. She truly learned that there is no depths to which Christ wonít go to save any of us and that was why she chose to let go of a lot of the negative things in her life. She learned that God could use anything and anyone and she let Him use her. She was truly humbled by the fact that God loved her despite. So take joy in that. The pain wonít go away overnight, but whatever you do at this point allow your answers to bear witness of her life and trust me when I say, this too shall pass. In comparison to God, we are powerless. Give Him your grief, give Him the burden of carrying this pain. Lenee believed in Philippians 3:13-14 ďI do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Ē She lived it, take comfort in that!
ASUEGA and HUNKIN

Long Beach, CA

#56 Jul 6, 2008
WE MISS & LOVE YOU COUSIN *NaeNae*(WHAT WE CALLED HER ON GEE). MAY YOU REST IN LOVE TIL WE MEET AGAIN.
"YOUR TRIBE FAMILY FROM GEE STREET"
WHAT

Los Angeles, CA

#57 Jul 9, 2008
TO MS "NOT AGAIN" & KATHY, YOU BOTH NEED TO SHUT THE HELL UP WITH ALL THAT NONSENCE..REAL TALK..THE FIRE HAD NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH COOKING, SO WHERE THE HELL DO YOU GET YOUR FACTS FROM. TALKING ABOUT ''DONT LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN'' WHATEVER WITH THAT.I SHOULD REPORT YOU FOR BEING STUPID.AND KATHY DONT COME ON HERE WITH YOUR CONDOLENSES TO THE FAMILY AND THEN TALK CRAP AT THE END..KEEP YOUR IGNORANT COMMENTS TO YOURSELF, BOTH OF YOU..
RIP BIG MOMs..WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU DEARLY...
LENEEs SiSTER MAE

San Francisco, CA

#58 Jul 11, 2008
Yes indeed...Let's remember my sister "Lenee" as the loving & caring women we knew...NOT the "women who died in house fire."
BigMamaz Aunty Jo wrote:
I'm reading these posts and some are hurtful and most of them put a smile on my face. It's so good to hear people share their moments with BigMama. I definitely have alot of good one's. Especially the "blonde" moments. She will definitely be missed.
For the ones that are hurtful..know that alot of us have questions also. Believe me! It goes through my mind everyday. Why didn't her husband get her out on time? What was he thinking? Why was she not thought of right away? Was there a window in her room? I'm sitting here wondering all kinds of things. The only one's who knows are the one's who were there and told us about how they tried to get her out. I wanna break somebody!! But, my baby is sleeping now and I will try hard this weekend to control my thoughts. I'm asking GOD to give me a humbling heart. It will be hard to do bcuz I know me. We all know that there are codes of conduct to follow when converting or adding on. We all should know that when a situation arises we may not always act accordingly. Why? I don't know! So, thank you for your concerns regarding codes and conducts, but my niece will be remembered for the sweet loving heart she had. She will NOT be remembered as "the lady who was killed in a fire" because of some codes.
Longggg Beach

Long Beach, CA

#59 Jul 11, 2008
Smoke detectors?? No one mentioned that. I am happy to see that this is a sounding board for the family, but remember this forum is open to all and all their comments. Converted garage or "add-on" we only read what the Press Telegram says. We never have seen the house and yet all the family is so defensive, so please be kind. And I hope the injured are recovering well. And condolences on your loss.
Scott

Perris, CA

#60 Jul 11, 2008
So what I am getting from these posts is that we should ignore the causes behind this fire (living in a converted garage that very likely was not up to code nor permits even taken out for it). So we hide in ignorance and let others die the same way because we want to be sensitive to the deceased family and friends.

When you ignore the facts that led up to the current problem, then others are doomed to repeat it.

I am sorry for the loss of life but lets learn from this. Do not convert a garage to sleeping quarters without getting permits, inspections, and having a certified electrician do the wiring. Also do not use space heaters because they can easily tip over and start fires. Have a couple of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers (something every house and apartment should have).

Take these simple and easy steps and you can prevent more people from dying like this person did. Don't you think she would want that?

Since: Jul 08

Los Angeles, CA

#61 Jul 11, 2008
Scott, yes you are absolutely right, knowing Lenee the way I do, she would want others to learn from this. I sell real estate and we come across homes on a daily basis that have add-ons that are not up to city codes or have never been inspected, then we have to scramble to get permits and have additional construction or re-wiring done in order to make the house saleable. So I understand what you are saying, permits protect us. People do things everyday that are not logical. Why wouldn't someone get a permit? There are a lot of reasons - money, time, etc. none of which are worth a life, but as human beings if there is a shortcut we take it. The problem is when we make these choices "we don't see the harm" until it is too late.

There is a time and place for everything. There are several steps people go through when they are grieving and right now that family is in pain. They are dealing with all types of emotions and even though the lesson is that we really have to be careful about converted garages and add-ons; we don't have to be hateful (and I am not referring to you)in expressing our opinions and some of the prior "posts" were hateful. So it's not necessarily what is said, it is how it's being said. We still have a responsibility to be compassionate and sensitive.

Absolutely, Lenee would want others to learn from this, but we know already how the media can distort facts to get a rise out of the public. Everything the media televised or wrote that morning was pure speculation, because we know from being there that any investigation conducted that morning could not have yielded results even on June 20 (the day after the fire).

I was there and I spoke to the Fire Chief myself that day and everything they did was routine as they would any other fire, whether there were permits or not. For example, because the smoke took the roof, they couldn't even tell whether there were smoke alarms in the garage or not. So who's to say, exactly? I have not read a follow-up story on any of this, so do you see how the media leaves everything to speculation?

The word should simply go out as this: It is important that you have permits and schedule an inspection of any additions you propose for your dwelling. Permits and City codes are here to protect us...that's what Lenee would want the public to know.
Tremaine

Orinda, CA

#62 Jul 11, 2008
Let's remember that this is a public domain. The public will post comments as they please. Some might not be as kind as we hope for but it's only out of concern that these people are reacting.

As Lenee's sister I can get defensive, but for what?

I'm sure Scott & the public's only intentions are to educate others about living spaces like Uncle Daniels.

Definetly this is a lesson to be learned about living quarters like this.

So please don't be so defensive to the publics view. Don't think the public needs an explaination because they don't.

To be honest, I think we need to make an awareness for homeowners/renters who are thinking on converting garages or adding-on to their homes to make sure that they take appropriate actions to prevent accidents like this one to happen.

Thank You,
Lenee's Sister
Tremaine Elisaia-Faga
pEEh EyEs

Walnut Creek, CA

#63 Aug 19, 2008
BIG MOMMZZZ!!!!!!not a day goes by that we dont miss you. it feels soo wierd, you not being...here. i know a month has gone by, and still it feels like i can juss walk into the house and here you laughing or see you walking around. and then we drive up to the house and the garage....it use to be such a wakeup call when we'd drive in..now its gone. but im gone to so i dont know what it looks like now. you were so much of a mother figure to all of us 'kids', i miss them so much. last time i was w/ them we were watching the slideshow and they were in tears. we all miss having you to run to. now its so empty. well we love you soo much.

RiL BiG MOMz
Follow up Friend

Sacramento, CA

#64 Jan 31, 2013
Just wanted to update this thread. In a sad turn of events Lenee's "Big Momma" Mother Lillian Hunkin Elisaia was killed in a freak traffic accident on November 20, 2012. Only two days before Thanksgiving. She was pulled over at the side of highway 80 near Hercules (East Bay) with her husband who survived. She had removed her seatbelt and was about to step out of the car when the vehicle was struck by another car that veered into them for unknown reasons. Lillian was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the accident site. A very tragic ending for a beautiful and amazing woman. She was actually preceeded in death by two of her daughters. This is a huge loving family and my heart goes out to them. I wish them much love and peace in the midst of all their pain and sadness. We never know where this journey called life is going to take us or where it will end. I only pray that this beautiful spirit is now resting in peace with her sweet girls.
Niah

Los Angeles, CA

#65 May 2, 2015
I miss you big momz you were the best friend I ever had you were alway there for me and I want to thank you for that I really miss you I wish you were still here but I will seen you soon

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