Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Hollywood

Monday, January 31, 2005 |

On Monday, January 31, 2005, at 0316 hours (3:16 a.m. PST), fifteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one Arson Unit, and other Fire Department resources, under the direction of Battalion Commander Craig Fry, responded to a reported Structure Fire, at 6128 West Yucca Street, in the Hollywood area.

First units on the scene reported a two-story, 150’ x 150’ church with fire showing from the rear. Further investigation by Firefighters revealed that the fire was on the outside of the rectory, extending up the exterior wall into the attic.

Using handlines, Firefighters aggressively attacked the fire and confined the fire to the exterior portion of the structure and the attic area of Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church and extinguished the fire in forty-four minutes.

No injuries were reported. Fire damage is estimated at $200,000. (150,000 structure and $50,000 contents). The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation by the House of Worship Task Force.

LAFD Fireboat Water Display

Saturday, January 29, 2005 |

Dear Friend of the LAFD:

Please join the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department on Sunday evening, January 30th for a ceremony that will celebrate the relighting of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the Port of Los Angeles.

http://www.vtbridgelighting.org

As part of the celebration, LAFD's Fireboat #2, the most powerful fireboat in the world, will perform a dramatic water display that demonstrates its state-of-the-art technology and ability to pump a staggering 38,000 gallons of water per minute. The display will take place during the 4PM to dusk ceremonies.

Known as the "The Official Welcoming Monument of the City of Los Angeles", the Vincent Thomas Bridge spans 6,050 feet, suspended by a pair of 365 feet tall towers. It will make a dramatic and especially photogenic backdrop to Fireboat #2's water display at what should be a festive event.

Details about Sunday's event, including free parking information, can
be found on-line at:

http://www.vtbridgelighting.org

..or by calling: (800) 831-PORT

We look forward to seeing you there!

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Los Feliz

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On Saturday, January 29, 2005, at 0316 hours (3:16 a.m. PST) fourteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, three Battalion Chief Command Officer Teams, one Battalion EMS supervisor, and two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, under the direction of Assistant Chief John Ware, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1529 Griffith Park Boulevard in the Los Feliz area.

First units on the scene reported a 50’ x 150’, one story commercial building with fire and heavy smoke showing, exposing a four-story center hallway apartment. Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire and extinguished it in just twenty-nine minutes. The fire was confined to “Enrique’s Auto Parts” an auto parts supply store.

Aggressive fire fighting prevented the fire from spreading to the four-story center hallway apartment. No injuries were reported. Fire damage is estimated at $100,000. ($30,000 contents and $70,000 structure). The cause of the fire is listed as electrical.

Major Emergency Structure Fire in Pico Heights

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On Friday, January 28, 2005, at 1344 hours, (1:44 p.m. PST), thirty-four companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, six Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, and other Fire Department resources, under the direction of Assistant Chief John Ware, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 2301 West Pico Boulevard in the Pico Heights area.

First units on the scene reported a one story commercial structure, 50’ x 150’, well involved with fire. Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire as it traveled horizontally through the common attic and extinguished the fire in just one hour and eighteen minutes.

The fire was confined to “La Barata” a large discount store. During fire fighting operations, one Firefighter suffering from heat exhaustion was treated on the scene and returned to his assigned duties. No other injuries were reported. Fire damage is estimated at $$2,000,000. ($1,500,000 contents and $500,000 structure). The cause of the fire is listed as electrical.

Train Derailment in the City of Glendale

Thursday, January 27, 2005 |

On Wednesday, January 26, 2005, at 0603 hours (6:03 a.m. PST), forty-seven companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, the Fire Chief, two Deputy Chiefs, three Assist Chief Officer Command Team, six Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, nine Battalion EMS Supervisors, twenty-seven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two LAFD US&R Team, three LAFD helicopters, two LAFD Haz-Mat teams, and other LA Fire Department resources under the direction of Fire Chief William Bamattre, responded as part of a Unified Command with the Glendale Fire Department, to a train derailment in the City of Glendale (Chevy Chase Dr. West of San Fernando Rd).

First Los Angeles Fire Department units on the scene reported a collision and derailment involving two Metrolink commuter trains and a Union Pacific freight train with the engine of the freight train on fire. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire in 5-10 minutes.

Firefighters were immediately confronted by dozens of passengers walking dazed along the railroad tracks and hundreds of other passengers needing immediate medical treatment, transport and extrication.

A casualty collection point and triage area was immediately established to deal with this Multi-Casualty Incident. Over seventy passengers were assisted from the trains by Firefighters, twelve were extricated using specialized extrication tools, and over one hundred walked out on their own.

As a result of this collision, Firefighters and Paramedics assessed approximately two hundred forty one passengers: one hundred-twenty nine were treated and transported, one hundred and one were treated on the scene and released, and there were eleven fatalities (as of 2200 hrs 1/26/05) on the scene.

Rescue ambulances transported patients to thirteen regional hospitals. It took the multi-agency units approximately one hour to control the incident and there were no Firefighter injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board, Metrolink Authorities, Law Enforcement, and other Federal agencies are investigating the collision.

With Great Sadness...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 |

It is with great sadness that the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department acknowledge the untimely passing of Julia Bennett, age 44, a Senior Clerk Typist for the LAFD's Bureau of Fire Prevention and Public Safety. Ms. Bennett, a well respected and beloved employee, was one of several rail passengers killed in a train collision early Wednesday morning in the City of Glendale.

Complete information regarding Julia's memorial service can be found by clicking here.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in West Hills

Wednesday, January 19, 2005 |

On Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 0033 Hours (12:33 AM PST), nine Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one LAFD Helicopter, one EMS Battalion Captain, two Chief Officer Command Teams and various LAFD support units under the direction of Battalion Commander James Gaffney responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 8000 Sedan Avenue in West Hills.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover heavy fire to the rear of a two story single-family dwelling. Firefighters using handlines mounted a tenacious and well-coordinated offense on the flames within the 2,848 square-foot residence. With winds gusting in excess of fifteen miles-per-hour, the fire rapidly swept through the second-floor and attic of the vacant home, causing an LAFD Engine Company and LAFD Helicopter to be deployed for ember patrol in the adjacent neighborhood of wood-shake shingle roofs.

Despite an intense fire load and tactical challenges, the fire was confined to the vacant structure of origin and extinguished in just twenty-eight minutes. There were no injuries. Loss from the fire is estimated at $302,000 ($300,000 structure & $2,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze has been categorized as incendiary.

Civilian Fatality Structure Fire in Mid-City

Monday, January 17, 2005 |

On Monday, January 17, 2005 at 0158 Hours (1:58 AM PST), six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Commander John Drake responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 2104 South Crenshaw Boulevard in the Mid-City area.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover fire showing from the first floor northwest portion of a large two-story California Craftsman-style single-family residence. Firefighters forced entry and using handlines mounted a bold assault on the fire, with simultaneous vertical ventilation of heat and smoke to assist with the search for a person reported missing within the maze-like confines of the voluminous wood frame home.

The swift moving flames, which spread to both floors and attic of the 95 year-old residence on account the balloon-style construction typical of that era, were ultimately confined to the structure and extinguished in just thirty-one minutes.

Near the final phase of fire extinguishment, Firefighters searching the 2,780 square foot residence discovered the remains of an adult female in a tiny first floor bathroom in the northeast section of the home. She was declared deceased at the scene. Though smoke alarms were noted within the building, their functional status and warning role has not yet been determined.

During fireground operations, one Firefighter sustained a moderate injury to his hand. In good condition, he was taken to Midway Hospital, where he treated and released. No other injuries were reported.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of this early morning blaze remains under active investigation by Los Angeles Fire Department and Police Department Investigators.

Structural Collapse with Civilian Injury

Monday, January 10, 2005 |

On Sunday, January 9, 2005, at 0920 hours (9:20.a.m. P.S.T.), twelve companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, three Battalion Officer Command Teams, two Battalion EMS Supervisors, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Urban Search and Rescue Team, and other Fire Department resources, under the direction of Assistant Chief Roderick Garcia responded to the report of a collapsed structure at 2965 N. Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the Laurel Canyon area.

First units on the scene reported a two-story, 5,000 square foot, single family dwelling totally collapsed from a mud/landslide with a report from bystanders of trapped victims.

During an intense search and rescue operation, a five-year old female was located buried in a pocket of mud and debris and was quickly extricated by an adult male passerby. Also, a ten-year-old male and a male adult were rescued from the mud and debris. All three were transported to UCLA Medical Center in good condition suffering from only minor injuries. The home was completely destroyed as a result of the massive mud/landslide.

Hillside Collapse with Civilian Fatality

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On Sunday, January 9, 2005, at 0708 hours (7:08 a.m. P.S.T.), eight companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, one Battalion Officer Command Team, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Urban Search and Rescue Team, and one Battalion EMS Supervisor, under the direction of Battalion Commander Greg Gibson, responded to reported trench rescue at 731 W. Coronel St., in the China Town area.

First units on the scene reported a landslide with a report of one person trapped beneath the mud and debris. Using conventional rescue methods, Firefighters located the body of a 43 year-old male and he was declared dead at the scene. Another male adult was rescued by Firefighters suffering from minor injuries sustained doing the collapse of the hillside where he and the deceased lived in a tent about 50-60 up from the road. He was transported to USC County Medical Center in good condition. No other injuries were reported.

COLLAPSED STRUCTURE

Friday, January 07, 2005 |

On Friday, January 07, 2005, at 1131 hours (11:31 a.m. P.S.T.), twelve companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Deputy Chief, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, two Urban Search and Rescue Teams, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, and other Fire Department resources, under the direction of Battalion Commander Roderick J. Garcia responded to an initial report of an Automatic Alarm at 3921 North Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the Studio City area.

First units on the scene reported that a large eucalyptus tree, approximately 100-150 feet tall, and 6-8 feet in diameter, had fallen onto a portion of the L shaped, two-story dormitory at “Oskaka College” partially collapsing one unit on the second floor.

Upon further investigation by Firefighters it was discovered that a water line within the structure had been compromised and an enormous amount of water was flooding the building. The water was quickly shut down to prevent further damage to building.

Approximately 20-30 students were in the dormitory at the time of the incident, but all escaped without injury. A comprehensive search of the building was conducted and Urban Search and Rescue personnel used their Search Cam to access areas that were inaccessibly using normal search and rescue methods.

Urban search and Rescue Teams also shored up and cordon off the unsafe areas of the structure (stabilization and perimeter control). No injuries were reported. The incident was controlled in approximately thirty-minutes and the building was turned over to school administrators and Building and Safety.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire

Thursday, January 06, 2005 |

On Thursday, January 6, 2005 at 0550 hours (5:50 AM PST), nine companies of Firefighters, four Chief Officer Command Teams, seven Rescue Ambulances, two EMS Battalion Captains and one Hazardous Materials Squad under the direction of Battalion Commander Brian L. Cummings responded to a greater alarm structure fire at 5311 S. Ruthelen Street in the Hyde Park area.

First units on scene reported a two-story apartment with smoke showing. Firefighters using handlines confined the fire to one unit on the first floor with super-heated smoke causing a flash fire in the second-floor hallway. The fire was extinguished in thirty-one minutes.

Functioning smoke alarms alerted the residents who were able to evacuate the structure. According to witnesses, prior to Fire Department arrival, a twenty-seven year old female dropped her ten-month old daughter from the second story apartment above the fire unit into the arms of an adult civilian with no injury to the infant. Subsequently, the mother then jumped from the second story window to the ground below.

In addition, an adult male also jumped from the second floor suffering a possible leg fracture. Eight residents were assessed and five (four adults and one child) were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries, all in stable condition.

The cause is under investigation and the loss is estimated at $100,000. ($95,000 to structure and $5,000 to contents).

Swift Water Rescue

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On Wednesday, January 5, 2005 at 1717 Hours (5:17 PM PST), thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two LAFD Helicopters, one LAFD Heavy Rescue Company and two Chief Officer Command Teams under the direction of Battalion Chief Jack Wise responded to a River Rescue in the Pacoima Wash near Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Pacoima.

Firefighters both on the ground and in the air arrived quickly to commence a search for a boy reportedly swept away by the shallow yet fierce current. The concrete-lined urban river, fed by recent storms, had more than a foot of rapidly moving cold water and a mossy bottom, enough to entrap, immobilize and imperil even the strongest of adult swimmers.

The ten-year old victim, clad in dark clothing at dusk, was spotted by Firefighters clinging to a concrete bridge abutment below Laurel Canyon Boulevard. As an LAFD Helicopter illuminated the scene with a 30 million candlepower spotlight, additional LAFD rescue crews were staged downstream.

Using an LAFD Aerial Ladder in a crane-like fashion, a harnessed Firefighter was lowered 25 feet into the vertical walled channel, where he tethered the wet and shivering boy, offering him comfort and reassurance during their joint ascent to the roadway above.

Conscious yet exhibiting signs of hypothermia, the youth, who suffered mild scrapes and bruises, was quickly wrapped in warm blankets and placed in a waiting LAFD ambulance, where he was stripped of his wet clothing, offered emotional support and aggressively re-warmed during ambulance transport to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. He arrived in fair condition.

Until a confirmation was made that there were no other victims, the second LAFD Helicopter continued aerial reconnaissance of the region. No other victims were discovered and there were no other injuries.

Apparent Electrocution

Wednesday, January 05, 2005 |

On Wednesday, January 05, 2005 at 1113 Hours (11:13 AM PST), two Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance and one EMS Battalion Captain under the direction of Battalion Chief Dennis Waters responded to an apparent electrocution at 3666 South Inglewood Boulevard in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters and Paramedics arrived quickly and were directed to a plumber in distress in the crawlspace beneath a large split-level home. According to witnesses, the plumber, who was seeking to repair a water leak, maneuvered his way nearly seventy feet through the tight confines of the raised foundation while holding a 120-volt work light with an attached and energized power cord.

Following a sudden flash or loud sound from beneath the home, the female resident was unable to reestablish contact with the worker and called 9-1-1. LAFD Firefighter-Dispatchers instructed the woman on how to safely de-energize the power cord while Firefighters and Paramedics rushed to the scene.

Firefighters crawled through muddy recesses no taller than eighteen inches to gain access to the man, who was without vital signs of life. Despite their initial efforts at resuscitation, the 49 year-old male was declared deceased at the scene.

After conferring on-site with Police and Coroner’s Investigators, Firefighters utilized hand and power tools to gingerly breach the tile and wooden floor of a bathroom in the far northeast corner of the 54 year-old home, allowing for the safe and dignified removal of the man’s remains.

Coroner’s officials will seek to positively identify the man, as well as determine the cause and manner of his death.

CIVILIAN FATALITY STRUCTURE FIRE

Tuesday, January 04, 2005 |

On Monday, January 03, 2005, at 2045 hours (8:45 p.m.), five companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, three Arson Units, and two LAFD Rescue Ambulance, under the direction of Battalion Commander Michael Rhodes, responded to a reported structure fire at 417 West 109th Street in the South Los Angeles area.

First units on the scene reported a 1200 square foot, single family dwelling well involved with fire and bystanders indicating that a child or infant was trapped inside the burning structure.

Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire and simultaneously conducted an initial search and rescue. Using a thermal imaging camera and other search and rescue methods, the body of a two-month old infant was found in the dwelling and declared dead on the scene.

Four adults were home at the time of the fire and escaped without injuries. The fire was confined to the dwelling and extinguished in twelve minutes. The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation and fire damage is estimated at $30,000. ($20,000 structure and $10,000 contents).

Greater Alarm Fuel Spill

Sunday, January 02, 2005 |

On Saturday, January 01, 2005 at 0435 Hours (4:35 AM PST), seven Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one LAFD Hazardous Materials Squad, an LAFD Foam Tender and LAFD Arson Investigators, all under the direction of 17th Battalion Commander James Gaffney responded to a Greater Alarm Fuel Spill at 22639 West Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills.

Summoned by Los Angeles Police Officers investigating a burglary, Firefighters quickly arrived to discover an unknown quantity of gasoline splashed outside and within “Super A Dry Cleaning”. Foam-capable firefighting handlines were deployed and used in dealing with the explosive vapors of the fuel, as Ventura Boulevard was closed to all traffic between Fallbrook and Shoup Avenues as a safety precaution.

There was no fire and Firefighters controlled the incident in approximately thirty-minutes. No injuries were reported. Monetary loss to property and contents is estimated at $2,500. LAFD Arson Investigators and Los Angeles Police Department officials are jointly investigating this incident.