Firefighters responding to a call for help from a neighbor in the 500 block of Moraga Way early Sunday arrived to find a residence at 524 Moraga Way burning heavily, one young woman was found just inside with major burn injuries and evacuated while another girl, identified as the family’s 16-year-old daughter Luca, was found dead inside.
Neighbors said the residence, home to a popular and involved local family, was burning when firefighters arrived, their initial access barred by a bridge spanning a dry creek bed. The first calls for assistance started coming in at about 3:53 a.m.
Neighbors said the owners of the home were traveling with a male child and that the family’s two daughters were believed to have been at home when the fire broke out.
A GoFundMe page for the family, headed by television journalist, producer and independent documentary filmmaker Réka Pigniczky and Barnabas Gero, a corporate finance consultant, has been established.
A Moraga-Orinda firefighter was also treated for burn injuries as a result of the blaze, but was released from the hospital late Sunday morning.
Neighbors in the area said they were first made aware of the blaze, keeping in mind the amount of smoke currently in the air, when an unidentified person began pounding on a neighbor’s door, screaming that the home at 524 was ablaze and that help was needed.
The one-story, 4 bedroom, 3 bath residence was built in 1948, according to public records.