A Panorama City family is grieving the death of a father and daughter who were apparently electrocuted in their own home in the early hours on Monday, Jan. 25.
Firefighters went to the family’s home in the 14700 block of Tupper Street about 2:45 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The victims, who died at the scene, were identified by the coroner’s office as Ferdinand Tejada, 53, and Janine Reyn Tejada, 20.
Ferdinand Tejada was apparently born in the Philippines.
According to Facebook, Janine Reyn Tejada was a graduate of Granada Hills Charter High School and studied Science in Nursing at West Coast University.
“It’s a sad day for our family to hear the news about the death of our dearly beloved Ferdinand C. Tejada and his daughter Janina M. Tejada at their home in California. Accidents do happen but death is inevitable for all. The life that you both journey and footprints that you leave behind will forever echo in our hearts…a leading father, a thoughtful brother, and a mentor uncle,” Niño Lloyd Tejada, a relative of the victims, wrote on Facebook.
Another relative, Alvin Zander Tejada, also lamented the tragedy.
“Thanks for everything Tejadas. I will miss you terribly. I looked up to you as my [second] Father and a best friend. I grew up with you. I learned things from you. You taught me how to play basketball. You taught me how to drive vehicles. You taught me how to be street smart. You’re one of my childhood heroes. I just lost my dad exactly 2 months and 13 days [ago], and now you are also gone and my cousin Janine. I don't know if it’s a test, but I will promise you will always have a special place in my heart. All things I learned from you will always be with me. Rest in Peace Tejadas and cousin Janine,” he wrote.
According to media reports, Ferdinand Tejada went outside after he heard a “loud pop” in the backyard. He was electrocuted when he came into contact with live electrical wires. His daughter went to his aid and also was electrocuted.
Ferdinand Tejada’s wife told authorities she felt a shock from the electric current but managed to get away and called 911. She was told to stay inside until emergency crews arrived, media reported.
Authorities said both the father and daughter died immediately, and that emergency crews had to wait for the power supply to be turned off before approaching the victims.
A video captured by a neighbor showed an orange glow from a fire sparked by the electrocution, while firefighters kept their distance.
Power was shut off in the immediate area by utility crews.
The Los Angeles Police Department was investigating.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), sent a crew to the site on Monday to reconnect power to the area, and was also investigating the incident, said in a statement that “LADWP is saddened to report that two individuals were electrocuted while coming in contact with downed power lines.”
The agency also cautioned people about the dangers of coming into contact with downed power lines.
“These two tragic deaths are a sobering reminder that live electrical wires can and will often result in death. Don’t get near or touch a downed power line. If you see a downed line, stay away and immediately call 9-1-1,” the agency said in a statement.
“Contacting electric equipment is extremely dangerous. Always assume that the power is on. Electrical equipment and wires often carry thousands of volts of electricity and are never safe to handle by anyone other than a qualified and trained electrical worker.
“Anyone coming across a victim lying near, or in contact with, downed wires or electrical equipment should keep a safe distance and not attempt to touch the victim. The current that incapacitates a victim can also harm would-be rescuers. Instead, call emergency services immediately,” the statement said.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average of more than 400 electrocutions in the country each year, most of them impacting construction workers. About 180 of them are related to consumer products.
In addition, the National Safety Council reports that electrical hazards cause approximately 4,000 injuries every year.
It is not clear what caused the power lines to come down in the Tejada home. Authorities were looking into fierce winds that hit the Valley last week as well as the rainstorm that hit the area late Sunday night into Monday morning as probable causes.