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Fireman Still Battle California Blaze

Nov. 8, 1961 - Firemen battled to keep control of two big brush fires in Los Angeles County today. The toll of homes destroyed, some of the city’s finest, had reached 456. Some homes were still threatened. All but nine of the houses destroyed were in the Bel-Air and Brentwood districts, where millionaires and movie stars reside. The nine exceptions were in Topanga Canyon. Firemen said they had saved 7,500 homes in the path of the fires, the worst in Southern California history, which broke out Monday. Among those who lost homes were Burt Lancaster, Joe E. Brown, Richard Boone, Lawrence Welk, Robert Taylor, Fred MacMurray, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Jack Lemmon was in London, but his home was saved, thanks to a friend, Fred Jordan. Mr. Jordan, a producer, removed the actor’s Oscar award and clothes. Then he returned to keep the place wet.


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