Loving Couple Married for More Than Six Decades Perish After Fire Consumes Their Home
They spent 63 years as husband and wife, and both lost their lives when an out-of-control fire swept through their home as they lay sleeping.
Theodore Kiapos, 91, and Aspasia Kiapos, 90, perished Saturday after Los Angeles County firefighters rescued them from their bed, where they were found unresponsive.
Paramedics were able to restore a pulse in each of the victims as they were ferried in ambulances toward separate hospitals, the department said. But both later died.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to authorities.
Their daughter, Carmen Kiapos, suffered serious burns and smoke inhalation as she tried several times to get inside the burning one-story home, authorities said.
The elderly couple’s home is part of a gated ranch compound with several buildings in a remote area of L.A. County. According to a GoFundMe page established by Carmen’s daughter, Sophia, the family has lived on the ranch for more than 50 years.
“At this time, as family and loved ones come together to celebrate the greatest love story we have ever known, we ask for your support as we give them the memorial and funeral that they deserve,” Sophia wrote on her fundraising page. “My precious grandparents deserve to celebrate their lives with all the love in the universe.”
Her grandmother graduated from UCLA at age 20 and became a teacher in the Burbank school district. Her grandfather, a U.S. veteran, played football for Pepperdine University and went on to work in his family’s shoe polish business.
They met in 1952 and eloped, according to their granddaughter, but later had a church wedding at Saint Sophia Cathedral, a legendary Greek Orthodox church built the same year the Kiapos were married.
Their funerals will also be held there.