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Family Says Woolsey Fire Victim Tried to Escape Flames


The deadly and destructive Woolsey Fire has scorched thousands of acres, destroyed more than 1,500 structures and killed three people so far.

The family of one of its victims — Alfred De Ciutiis — said they believe the 73-year-old died trying to escape the flames.

Known as “Doctor D,” the retired oncologist lived in his Agoura Hills home for 30 years and loved everything about the city. He’d be devastated to see what’s left of it now, his nephew Vincent De Ciutiis said.

He was proud of his house on top of the hill, but not too proud to leave, his family said.

“This is where they found my uncle … what was left of him,” Vincent De Ciutiis said.

Law enforcement officers found the remains of Alfred De Ciutiis after his family asked for a welfare check.

Vincent De Ciutiss and his uncle were close and spoke almost every day, including the night of the fire.

“I knew Friday night when I didn’t get a call back that something was a little off,” he said.

Alfred De Ciutiis over the phone with his nephew mentioned an “interesting smell,” but didn’t notice anything at the moment. Family members said “Doctor D” would have evacuated if he knew there was immediate danger.

Some neighbors on the way down the hill said they were heart broken and thought Alfred had made it out because they looked up and saw the home dark. But the fire burned so fast and so hot, that there’s nothing left of the picturesque home on top of the hill.

Vincent said his uncle was a world traveler and a brilliant mind.

“It was really amazing being able to have him as an uncle,” he said, “for all these years to see him gone, it just blows my mind away.”

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said the remains of two other fire victims were found in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway.

Photo Credit: De Ciutiis Family
Source: NBC San Diego

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