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Residents Escape Apartment Fire Without Injury

Saturday, July 02, 2005 |

On Saturday, July 2, 2005, at 7:59 a.m. PDT, twenty-six companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Deputy Chief, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, six Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, two EMS Battalion Captains, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson investigation unit, Emergency Air, and other Los Angeles City support agencies, under the direction of Deputy Department Commander Mario Rueda, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1168 Bellevue Avenue northwest of the Civic Center/Bunker Hill area.

The first fire unit on the scene reported a three-story, center hallway apartment building with heavy smoke showing from the third floor and attic.

Aggressively attacking the fire in the attic with handlines, Firefighters confined the fire to the attic area with smoke, water, and structural damage to some of the units on the third floor.

A well-coordinated salvage operation on all floors prevented substantial water damage to personal contents. Over one hundred Firefighters controlled and extinguished the fire in thirty-nine minutes.

After a complete search and rescue operation of the involved and adjacent apartment units, no injuries were reported.

Quick and decisive actions by occupants in the structure contributed greatly to the safe evacuation of the apartment building prior to the arrival of the Fire Department.

Approximately one hundred and fifteen occupants were immediately displaced and a Metro bus was requested by the Los Angeles Fire Department to serve as a temporary shelter for many of the occupants from the early morning cool weather until the American Red Cross could set up an evacuation center. Bravo Magnet School was subsequently established as an evacuation center. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) mermbers were also requested to assist the displaced occupants.

The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation and fire damage is estimated at $315,000 ($300,000 structure and $15,000 contents).

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