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Father and Daughter Killed as They Tried to Escape Fairview Fire, Family Says

A father and daughter were killed as they tried to escape a fast-moving brush fire that raced through a Riverside County canyon this week.

Ian Matthew Compton and daughter Mikayla Porter died Monday in the Fairview Fire near Hemet, family members said. Compton’s wife remains hospitalized with critical injuries, brother Tim Chitwood told NBCLA.

“They started taking off, and I guess they had car problems,” Chitwood said after visiting his sister in the hospital.

Chitwood said a neighbor who also is a firefighter rescued his sister from the disabled car. When the firefighter tried to rescue Compton and Porter, flames overran the car, he said.

“The firefighter pulled the door open, and then they yanked her out and pulled her away,” said Chitwood. “The fire just got so close, it just engulfed the car.”

Authorities have not confirmed the victims’ identities, but said Wednesday morning that the two deceased victims were found in a vehicle. Authorities were not able to identify the bodies because of their condition from the fire.

The deadly Fairview Fire started Monday afternoon and forced evacuations south of Hemet. The fire has grown to 5,000 acres, reaching the boundaries of the San Bernardino National Forest, with no change in containment at 5 percent.

Evacuation orders and warnings remain effect. Sheriff’s deputies were making house calls to enforce the evacuation order, according to county fire Capt. Richard Cordova.

At least seven buildings were destroyed and several more were damaged. Cordova estimated that some 1,500 homes had been affected by the evacuation orders.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. In a document filed with the California Public Utilities Commission, Southern California Edison reported circuit activity in the area close to the time the fire erupted.

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