LAFD Battles Encino Blaze that Claims Two Lives

Friday, August 29, 2014 |

ENCINO - The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) extinguished structure fire that claimed two lives and hospitalized six, including one firefighter.

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Just before 9:00 PM on August 28, 2014, firefighters responded to 5330 Lindley Avenue to find a three-story center-hallway apartment/condo building over a parking structure, with one unit on the third floor well involved in flames. An aggressive attack ensued and additional firefighters were quickly requested.

Over 100 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Al Valle, fully extinguished the flames in just over one hour.

A total eight civilian patients were evaluated. Sadly an elderly male and female were determined dead, most likely due to asphyxiation from smoke. Five others required transport to local hospitals and one declined transport. Lastly, one firefighter suffered a hand injury and was transported to a local hospital in Fair condition.

A positive identification of the deceased, as well as the cause, time and manner of their death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner. There were no security doors or bars on windows to impede egress. This is the 19th and 20th civilian fatality related to a structure fire in LAFD's jurisdiction in 2014.

The Mayors Crisis Response Team assisted those affected by this traumatic incident and the American Red Cross assisted with those displaced.

The cause of the fire is under active investigation by the LAFD Arson Section and the estimated dollar loss is being tabulated.

Hard wired Smoke Alarms were located however they did not appear to be functional. Friday morning August 29, 2014, firefighters will canvas the neighborhood as part of the LAFD’s Smoke Alarm Field Education (SAFE) Program, distributing free smoke alarms and fire safety information.
Dispatched: E83 RA83 E293 T93 E100 RA100 E288 E88 T88 EM17 BC17 BC10 E84 RA73 DC3 RA88 E103 E290 T90 EM15 BC15 RA90 RA39 RA104 EM14 E273 T73 E39 E90 E237 T37 EM9 UR88 T89 E289 UR89 E27 BC5 RT83 RA909 E87 E305 T105 AR2 RA72 RA105 AR10 AR11 AR21
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Venice Beach Lightning Strike Survivor Reunites with Rescuers

Thursday, August 28, 2014 |

VENICE  – On the afternoon of July 27, 2014, a bolt of lightning from an unexpected summer storm struck Venice Beach. LA County Fire Department  (LACoFD) Lifeguards and Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) units sprang into action to assist numerous injured people.


The first person rescued from the ocean was 56-year-old Robert Kilroy, an off-duty seasonal LA County Lifeguard and a professional chiropractor. Dr. Kilroy was pulled by his 15-year-old daughter Emily from the water in cardiac arrest. First responders began immediate CPR on Dr. Kilroy and transported him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood. Four days later he was discharged from the hospital after making a full recovery and has returned to work and his normal everyday activities. Tragically, one individual also in the ocean at the time succumbed to his injuries.

On Thursday, August 28, 2014 the LAFD and LACoFD officials joined medical personnel from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to re-unite with Dr. Kilroy, to share his story and discuss the importance of Bystander CPR and ocean safety ahead of the Labor Day holiday, at the Venice Beach Pier parking lot.

“It really underscores the need for everyone to learn CPR, learn how to use a defibrillator, because you never know,” said Dr. Marc Eckstein, medical director of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

No Functional Smoke Alarms in Fatal Los Angeles Fire

Sunday, August 24, 2014 |

FAIRCREST HEIGHTS – A male in his 70’s, two dogs and a bird were found dead in a burning home Sunday afternoon.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 4:51 PM on August 24, 2014 to the report of a structure fire at 1568 South Point View Street in the Faircrest Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy smoke showing from the attic of a one story 1,544 square-foot home.

Access was difficult due to excessive storage in front yard, back yard, roof and throughout the 80 year old residence. During fire attack, LAFD responders discovered a man without vital signs of life, who was later determined to be dead at the scene.

Ninety-seven firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Kevin Pearson were able to fully extinguish the flames in just 31 minutes. Two dogs and a pet bird also succumbed in the fire. No other injuries were reported.

Firefighters found no evidence of functional smoke alarms inside the residence. The home was heavily damaged by the fire, and was not equipped with optional residential fire sprinklers.

A positive identification of the victim, as well as the cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

As LAFD Arson Investigators were seeking the cause of the fire, firefighters canvassed the neighborhood as part of the LAFD’s Smoke Alarm Field Education (SAFE) Program, distributing free smoke alarms and fire safety information.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.

Dispatched Units: E58 RA858 E68 E261 T61 RA61 E292 T92 EM11 BC18 E62 E61 E294 T94 E43 DC1 BC11 RA68 E34 E237 T37 EM1 BC1 T5 E205 E5 UR5 UR88 BC4 E26 AR2 AR1 RT59 RA892 AR11 RA894 AR21 AR13 E58 T94 E294 AR21
Submitted by Shawn Lenske, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Napa Earthquake - A Reminder to Prepare

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Images of Different Types of Disasters. Click to learn how to prepare...A strong earthquake near Napa in Northern California this week, reminds us that disasters can strike without warning.

What would you do...

...if basic services - water, gas, electricity and telephones - were entirely cut off? ...if roads were impassible or neighborhood firefighters were committed to major emergencies and unable to reach you right away?

The answer is Preparedness!

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department want you and your family to be safe. Here are some tips for getting and staying prepared:

  • Know the types of disasters that can occur in your community.
  • Make a family emergency plan that coordinates with your school, work and neighborhood plans. Practice them with the every member of your household - and don't forget your pets!
  • Create a disaster supplies kit that includes enough supplies for each family member for at least three days. Remember to check your kit every six months.
  • Teach children about emergencies, including when to call for help, where you'll meet and how you'll communicate following a disaster.
  • If you commute to work, know alternate routes and carry appropriate supplies, such as a disaster kit in your car - and a compact kit with bare essentials such as a small flashlight and whistle when on public transportation.
Being prepared will not only help you survive a disaster, but greatly lessens the impact of common emergencies such as injury, fire and severe weather.

The LAFD suggests these resources to help you prepare:

The time to get ready for unexpected situations is right now - while you have time to listen, learn, plan and prepare!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Battles 30 Acre Van Nuys Brush Fire

Saturday, August 23, 2014 |

VAN NUYS - Over 125 firefighters battled a brush fire that erupted within the Sepulveda basin on August 22, 2014, scorching 30 acres.

Photo of LAFD helicopter making a water drop on brush fire.Just before 4:00 PM the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responded to the 15700 block of Burbank Boulevard to find thick brush and trees on fire in the Sepulveda basin.

A 10 mph southerly wind began blowing embers, creating several spot fires. The flames quickly spread to 10-acres and began burning two different areas, South and North of Burbank Boulevard, prompting the Incident Commander to create two separate branches of command and control. A large column of grey smoke was clearly visible from the 405 and 101 freeways.

Firefighters attacked the flames with hose-lines and hand tools, in nearly 90 degree weather. Multiple helicopters, including the Erickson Air-Crane, performed precise water drops.

Fortunately there are no structures threatened and firefighters were able to take more of a defensive posture. No one was injured.

The fires prompted the California Highway Patrol to shut down the Burbank Boulevard off-ramps from the northbound and southbound San Diego (405)  Freeway. Burbank Boulevard also was closed between Woodley Avenue and Balboa Boulevard for a period of time.

Three LAFD Chiefs, wearing brush firefighting gear, speaking to one another regarding the active fire.Over 125 firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Andrew Fox, fully extinguished the flames in nearly two and a half hours. A total of 30 Acres burned.

Firefighters remained on the scene through the next day to continue extinguishing hot spots.

The cause of the fire is under active investigation.

Dispatched Units: E83 E88 WT88 T88 E288 BC10 H4 T90 E290 E239 T39 RA39 E100 E109 H0A EM14 BC14 E102 H3 RA83 E99 DC3 EM9 BC17 E105 E87 E109 H748 E93 E108 E89 E7 E86 E260 T60 E278 T78 BC9 BC12 E60 RA100 RA90 E37 E98 E81 E61 E27 HU59 BP44 BP74 E33 E5 E61 E8 E90 E33 BP78 E105 E88 BP109 E87 E83 T98 E298 BC10
(VIDEO)

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

City of Los Angeles Debuts 'Five Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness' Program

Friday, August 22, 2014 |

5 Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness. Click to learn more...LOS ANGELES - The City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department has announced its "Five Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness" program, an easy-to-use guide for creating a neighborhood disaster preparedness plan.

The program will be introduced at a series of identical community preparedness workshops to be held throughout the City during September.

Each community workshop is free to attend, and refreshments will be provided. There will be a raffle with door prizes. Registration is limited, so please sign up today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Cheviot Hills Recreation Center
2551 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Register now for this workshop

Thursday, September 18, 2014
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Alpine Recreation Center
817 Yale Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Register now for this workshop

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Sunland/Tujunga Municipal Building
7747 Foothill Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91042

Register now for this workshop

Thursday, September 25, 2014
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Crenshaw Christian Center
7901 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044

Register now for this workshop

At the core of the award-winning program is the Five Steps Toolkit, which enables residents to define their neighborhood, rally and engage community members and build a customized disaster response plan. This toolkit is inclusive of people with disabilities, those whose primary language may not be English, and others who may need extra help after a disaster.

"All of us are greater than any one of us," said James G. Featherstone, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department. "The Five Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness program is designed to empower communities to not only address the unique issues they may face in case of an emergency, but create a plan to manage an emergency situation safely and effectively."

For more information on the Five Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness program, including the Five Steps Toolkit - or to register for one of the four free workshops - please visit:


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Chief Takes the Mound at Dodger's Firefighter Benefit

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers saluted firefighters from across The Golden State on Tuesday evening, during Firefighter Appreciation Night at Dodger Stadium.

The August 19, 2014 event featured a matchup between the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, and started with a hosted pre-game reception for firefighters and their families, and continued through a warm summer evening of exciting Major League Baseball.

During pregame ceremonies, newly appointed Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas was asked to throw the honorary first pitch:



While the Dodgers bested the Padres (8 to 6), the real winner of the game was the California Fire Foundation, which benefitted from a generous portion of the evening's ticket sales. The non-profit organization provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters and the communities they protect.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department thank the Dodgers organization for their longstanding support of California first responders, and encourage you to join firefighters and their families for an afternoon or evening of fun this season at Dodger Stadium.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Meet LAFD's Fire Chief-Select; Ralph M. Terrazas

Friday, July 18, 2014 |


We would like to introduce Ralph M. Terrazas, the Fire Chief-select for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). He is currently an LAFD Assistant Fire Chief assigned to the South Division.
  
Color head shot of Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. Smiling Latino with dark hair and mustache.
In his current assignment as the South Division “A” Platoon Commander, Chief Terrazas is responsible for leading, managing, and training the approximately 500 members on-duty at 54 fire stations throughout seven battalion commands. The South Division Command covers half of the City and includes the complex institutions of the Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles International Airport.

Terrazas is a 31-year veteran of the LAFD and during his tenure he has served as a chief officer for 14 years in a variety of field and administrative commands. He established the Department’s Professional Standards Division (PSD), which upgraded and professionalized the LAFD’s disciplinary system; applied metric-based management at the Division and Battalion level to achieve continual improvement and data tracking of specific objectives; led the development and passage of the Proposition “F” Fire Station Bond, which enabled the construction of 19 new LAFD stations; served as the Community Liaison Officer, and is the holder of a U.S. Patent for a “Brush Fire Rate of Spread” tool and an Emmy Award of Excellence for production of a public service announcement program.

Terrazas was born in Long Beach, Calif., and was raised in nearby Wilmington. He is a graduate of Banning High School, where he played on two City Championship football teams. He retains strong ties to the Wilmington community through his founding and support of the Banning High School/LAFD Fire Academy, which has mentored high school students towards successful professional careers for the past 14 years.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration and a Certificate in Fire Protection Administration from San Diego State University. In 1995, he received Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on Human Resource Management from California State University, Los Angeles. He was appointed to the LAFD in December 1983, fulfilling a lifelong goal of a professional career in the fire and EMS service.

Terrazas and his wife Dayna, a registered nurse, have three children and are long-time residents of San Pedro.
 
James G. Featherstone remains the Interim Fire Chief until Chief Terazzas is confirmed by city council. We expect formal confirmation early August 2014.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Battles Intense Blaze at Hollywood Metal Plating Business

Sunday, July 13, 2014 |

HOLLYWOOD - A stubborn fire Sunday morning in an industrial metal plating facility took just over two hours to contain and led to one firefighter going to the hospital.

Two firefighters atop fire engine squirting water on top of a burning building. Copyright Photo by Ryan Babroff. Click to view more...

The Los Angeles Fire Department was called just before 9:00 AM on July 13, 2014, to 1001 North Orange Drive in Hollywood. Firefighters arrived in just 3 minutes to find thick black smoke and fire billowing from Highland Plating Company, a 100' by 150' one story brick building.

Firefighters made an aggressive interior fire attack but were quickly driven back by intense heat and flames. Seven minutes into the battle a coordinated retreat was ordered and the operation took a defensive posture. Firefighters used large diameter hose and water streams from ladder trucks to attack the blaze and apply copious amounts of water.

To combat concerns of run off, Firefighters built a series of dams and filtering systems to reduce contaminants, while Hazardous Materials Firefighters tested both the air and water. Although the plume of smoke could be seen for miles, no evacuations were ordered and air tests found the smoke to be free of dangerous contaminants.
Smoke rises in sky from burning building. Copyright Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...

Nearly 150 Firefighters all under the command of Assistant Chief Timothy Manning had the bulk of the fire extinguished in just over two hours. Firefighters will remain on scene for over 24 hours to address flare ups and douse hot spots. The fire was confined to the building of origin were there was partial roof collapse from the intense blaze. Firefighters managed to save the business office and salvage it's contents.

A firefighter became ill after the intense firefight, in very warm weather, and was transported to the hospital in good condition for evaluation.

A half dozen agencies including LAFD Joint Hazard Assessment Team and LA County Health Haz Mat are working in a collaborative effort to minimize environmental impact and organize clean up, estimated to take up to two days. All Firefighters, equipment, and apparatus had to be decontaminated with a soap and water solution to neutralize the exposure to oxidizers used in metal plating.

The cause of this blaze remains under active investigation by the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson Section. Dollar loss is estimated at $1,800,000.00 ($800,000 structure & $1,000,000.00 contents).
Dispatched Units:E227 E27 T27 RA827 E41 RA41 E261 E61 T61 EM11 BC5 BC11 E52 RA861 E220 T20 E82 RA82 E76 E29 E235 T35 DC3 EM14 EM9 BC14 BC2 T3 E203 UR3 E89 UR88 BC1 SQ21 RA27 RA61 E211 T11 E229 T29 E60 AR2 T26 E226 JT2 E21 T21 E221 JT5 RT59 EA1 HU59 E89 T39 E239 E98 T93 E293 RA909 RT83 SQ87 T10 E210 E26 BC5 FT17 E227 E27 T27 E41 E261 T61 E21 T21 E221 SQ21 RA41

Submitted by Katherine Main, Spokesperson
Los Angeles Fire Department