Major Emergency Structure Fire in Central City

Thursday, February 24, 2005 |

On Thursday, February 24, 2005 at 0541 Hours (5:41 AM PST), thirty-nine Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, seven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two EMS Battalion Captains, eight Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, one Deputy Chief, the Tractor Company, the Arson Section, and various LAFD support resources under the direction of Assistant Chief John Ware responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 832 South San Pedro Street in the Central City.

The first Company to arrive reported heavy smoke and fire showing from a 150’ x 150’ one-story commercial building. Firefighters forced entry and extended handlines into the core of the building as heavy streams were utilized to prevent the fire from spreading to a four-story apartment building. Firefighters safely rescued/assisted twelve occupants from the apartment building.

The fire was confined to the occupancy of origin and extinguished in just two hours and fifty-eight minutes. There were seven retail/wholesale occupancies within the structure with an extremely heavy fire load of fabrics, storage and garments that sustained heavy fire damage.

Loss from the fire is still being tabulated and the cause of this fire is under active investigation.

Civilian Mudslide Fatality in Woodland Hills

Monday, February 21, 2005 |

On Monday, February 21, 2005 at 0231 Hours (2:31 AM PST) 5 Companies of Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, EMS Captain Brent Spankroy, and two Swift Water Rescue Teams under the direction of Battalion Chief John Duca responded to 4164 Natoma Avenue in Woodland Hills.

When Firefighters arrived they received reports of a 63-year-old male trapped inside a large single family dwelling due to a mudslide.

Rescuers concluded that the victim was entombed beneath approximately 4 feet of mud and debris as it pushed through the rear of the structure. Firefighters utilized a Thermal Imaging Camera to locate the man, who was then extricated from the debris and declared deceased at the scene at 0315 (3:15 AM PST).

The victim’s wife, present at the time of this unfortunate tragedy, escaped without injury. There were no additional injuries reported and monetary loss is still being tabulated.

City Civil Engineer Fatality in North Hollywood

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On Sunday, February 21, 2005 at 2237 (10:37 PM PST) five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief and two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, along with two Swift Water Rescue Teams, two LAFD Helicopters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, and two EMS Captains, under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario D. Rueda, known as the “Tujunga IC”, responded to the 8000 block of Tujunga Avenue in Sun Valley, the location of a large sink hole measuring approximately 30 feet deep.

A City Civil Engineer was reported to be monitoring crews working below when the ground became unstable, pitching him and a nearby concrete barrier into the sizeable aperture.

LAFD Helicopter Fire 6 was summoned to assist in locating the victim, but a helicopter recovery of the man’s body proved not feasible due to rain, wind and the presence of high-tension wires. Ground-based Firefighters, utilizing rescue ropes and a 35’ extension ladder, were able to recover the man’s remains at approximately 0200 (2:00 AM PST). No other injuries were incurred.

CAL-OSHA and City of Los Angeles officials will be conducting a formal investigation.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in West Hills

Saturday, February 19, 2005 |

On Saturday, February 19, 2005 at 0128 Hours (1:28 AM PST), 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one LAFD EMS Captain and one LAFD Hazardous Materials Squad under the direction of Assistant Chief Tony Varela responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 6401 Platt Avenue in West Hills.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find a one-story strip mall with fire showing from a large facade. Firefighters battled the blaze, utilizing hose lines and mounting aggressive roof-cutting operations. They were able to confine the fire to the large attic area while protecting property within in the building.

It took 70 men and women of the LAFD just 42 minutes to suppress this arduous blaze. There were no injuries. Loss from the fire is being tabulated and the cause remain under investigation.

Severe Flooding in Sunland

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On Friday, February 18, 2005 at 1512 Hours (3:12 PM PST), nine Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, two LAFD EMS Captains, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, Two LAFD Swift Water Rescue Teams, two LAFD Bulldozers, and a myriad of other LAFD resources, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Tony Varela, responded to the Sunland area for severe flooding conditions.

A Command Post was established at Fire Station 24 to coordinate the Fire Department operations in the community. Areas of concern included, but were not limited to, Foothill Boulevard at the Tujunga Wash and the Arizona Crossing, with four houses threatened by flooding at Oro Vista Avenue.

In an effort to support area residents who may have been displaced from their homes, Los Angeles Firefighters in conjunction with the American Red Cross, established a meeting place at the nearby Sunland Recreation Center.

The pro-active approach taken by the LAFD proved to be a success, as no injury or loss of life directly attributable to the storm were reported in the region.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in North Hollywood

Friday, February 18, 2005 |

On Friday, February 18, 2005, at 0415 hours (4:15 a.m. P.S.T), eleven companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Hazmat Squad, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, Emergency Air, and one Arson unit, under the direction of Battalion Commander Patrick M. Shanley, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 11669 West Sherman Way in North Hollywood.

First units on scene reported a one story, 75’x100’ commercial building with fire and heavy smoke showing. Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire while simultaneously conducting ventilations and search and rescue operations. The fire was confined to the kitchen area of “Mango Tango” a restaurant/dance hall and extinguished in approximately twenty-four minutes.

The fire threatened no other structures and no injuries were reported. Fire damage is estimated at approximately $225,000. ($175,000 structure and $50,000 contents). The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Reseda

Thursday, February 17, 2005 |

On Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 1949 Hours (7:49 PM PST), six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, EMS Captain Scott Gould, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Hazardous Materials Squad, and one Water Tender under the direction of Assistant Chief Tony Varela responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 7800 North Yarmouth Avenue in Reseda.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find a single family dwelling with heavy fire showing from one room. Firefighters dealt with a myriad of obstacles including forcible entry, wires down in the alley behind the structure, exposures to the North and limited water pressure in surrounding hydrants due to a water main break earlier in the day. Water Tender 88 was summoned to the scene for support. Despite these seaming impediments, it took approximately 45 firefighters just 33 minutes to extinguish the flames.

A civilian, met by firefighters as they arrived at the scene, suffered minor burns to his ears and neck, as well as minor smoke inhalation and was transported to Northridge Hospital. Meanwhile, during fire ground operations, one firefighter/paramedic suffered minor burns to his ears only and was transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital, where he was placed off duty. No other injuries were reported.

Monetary loss from the fire is reported to be $450,000 ($300,000 structure and $150,000 content). The cause is determined to be accidental, and is attributed to the malfunction of a bedroom lamp.

Major Emergency Structure Fire in Hyde Park

Monday, February 14, 2005 |

On Sunday, February 13, 2005, at 2315 hours (11:15 p.m. PST), twenty seven companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Deputy Chief, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, six Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, two Battalion EMS Captains, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Hazardous Materials Squad, and other fire department resources, under the direction of Assistant Chief John Badgett responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1821 W. 60th Street in the Hyde Park area.

First fire companies to arrive on the scene reported a one-story, 50’ x 150’ commercial structure well involved with fire. Confronted with a structure that was completely involved with fire, Firefighters immediately took up a defensive position on the exterior of the building using heavy stream appliances and handlines to aggressively attack the fire in the “vacant” building.

The fire was confined to the “vacant” structure and extinguished in approximately one-hour and nineteen-minutes. A portion of the roof and a wall collapsed. During the search and rescue phase of the incident, the body of an adult was found inside the structure and declared dead at the scene. Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the fire is under active investigation.

Multi-Patient Shooting South of Downtown

Sunday, February 13, 2005 |

On Sunday, February 13, 2005 at 0239 Hours (2:39 AM PST), two Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, six LAFD Rescue Ambulances and three EMS Battalion Captains under the direction of Battalion Chief Raymundo Gomez responded to a Multi-Patient Shooting near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Olympic Boulevard south of Downtown.

Firefighters and Paramedics arrived quickly to the front of a nightclub to discover a total of five young adult patients with gunshot wounds. One male sustained critical injuries, while the remaining three men and one woman sustained peripheral wounds of a non-life threatening nature.

Within minutes, all five patients were expertly triaged, treated and transported to area hospitals by LAFD Paramedics. No other injuries were reported. Los Angeles Police officials are actively investigating the incident.


Swift Water Rescue near Downtown

Saturday, February 12, 2005 |

On Friday, February 11, 2005 at 1601 Hours (4:01 PM PST), 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Swift Water Teams, one LAFD Heavy Rescue, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, two LAFD Helicopters, one EMS Captain, and one Chief Officer Command team under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis responded to a River Rescue in the Los Angeles River near Washington Boulevard near Downtown.

Firefighters both on the ground and in the air arrived quickly to find a boy clinging to the flood channel wall. The fourteen-year old victim was spotted by firefighters from Fire Station 17 with additional LAFD rescue crews staged downstream in anticipation.

Using a two-line rope system, a harnessed Firefighter was lowered down into the vertical walled channel, where he tethered the shivering boy and, with the assistance of the firefighters above, was brought to safety, cold, yet unharmed. Conscious yet exhibiting signs of hypothermia, the youth, was quickly wrapped in warm blankets and placed in a waiting LAFD ambulance, and transported to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.

Contrary to early reports, a second boy, responsible for alerting workers at a nearby business of his friend’s fate, proved not to have made contact with the water. He was examined by firefighters and released to his parents without injury. No other victims were discovered and there were no other injuries.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in South Carthay

Friday, February 11, 2005 |

On Thursday, February 10, 2005 at 1621 Hours (4:21 PM PST), ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and various LAFD support units under the direction of Assistant Chief Jeffery S. Mottram responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1034 South Stearns Drive in the South Carthay area.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke and fire showing from a large two-story single family home. Forcing entry and using handlines, Firefighters mounted a fierce interior attack on the well-entrenched flames, which had spread from a first floor laundry room into the walls and attic of the eighty year-old wood-frame home.

As Firefighters, aided by strategic vertical ventilation, tenaciously attacked the fire on the second floor and throughout the attic, their colleagues on the first floor protected and removed many of the homeowner’s precious personal belongings.

Though hampered by labyrinthine construction of the 2,264 square-foot home, the fire was confined to the structure and extinguished in just 42 minutes. There were no injuries. A female resident, who later arrived at the scene, was displaced by the blaze and desired to seek her own accommodations.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $350,000 ($250,000 structure & $100,000 contents). The cause of this late afternoon blaze is categorized as electrical, and is attributed to a malfunction in the laundry room.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Sherman Oaks

Monday, February 07, 2005 |

On Monday, February 7, 2005 at 0121 Hours (01:21 AM PST), nine companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, two Hazardous Materials Squads, one Emergency Medical Service Battalion Captain and one LAFD Rescue Ambulance under the direction of Assistant Chief Curtis James, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 14210 West Huston Street in the Sherman Oaks area.

The first Company arrived quickly to find a fully involved, yet vacant, gymnasium, under construction, located at the Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks Park. Firefighters made an aggressive attack on the fire, using 2 ½” handlines, which kept the fire confined to the structure only and was extinguished in just twenty-nine minutes. There were no injuries. Loss from the fire is estimated at $125,000 to structure only due to its current state. The cause of this fire is currently under investigation.

Simi Valley Burger King Helps LAFD/LASD Families

Thursday, February 03, 2005 |

SIMI VALLEY BURGER KING TO HOLD FUNDRAISER
DONATING 100% PROCEEDS TO THE FAMILES OF
DEPUTY JAMES TUTINO & LAFD EMPLOYEE JULIA BENNETT

On Saturday, February 5, 2005 BURGER KING at 2991 Cochran Street in Simi Valley will hold a fundraiser to benefit the families of Deputy James Tutino and Julia Bennett, a 19 year employee of the LAFD.

Both Tutino and Bennett were residents of Simi Valley and were tragically killed in the recent derailment of a Metrolink train.

The restaurant will be open from 6:30 am to 11pm. Proceeds from the restaurant sales on Saturday, February 5, 2005 will be donated to the families. The fundraiser is taking place only at this Burger King Restaurant. We are pleased to provide an interactive map and driving directions.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Koreatown

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On Thursday, February 03, 2005, at 0456 hours (4:56 a.m. PST), eleven companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, and one Arson Unit, under the direction of Assistant Chief Roy T. Kozaki, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 975 South Vermont Avenue in the Koreatown area.

First units on the scene reported a two-story, 300’ x 75’, strip mall of approximately forty units with smoke and fire showing from one unit in the front on the first floor.

Aggressively attacking the fire with handlines, Firefighters confined the fire to the front and ceiling area of “Nasung Stores”, a boutique/retail-clothing/gift shop, preventing the fire from spreading to other occupancies. The fire was extinguished in approximately thirty-two minutes. No injuries were reported.

Fire damage is estimated at $40,000. ($25,000 structure and $15,000 contents). The cause of the fire is listed electrical and attributed to a neon sign at the front of the occupancy.

Memorial Service for Julia Bennett

Tuesday, February 01, 2005 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department ask you to join them in celebrating the life of Julia Bennett.

A Senior Clerk Typist for the LAFD's Bureau of Fire Prevention and Public Safety, Julia was one of several rail passengers killed in a train derailment early last Wednesday morning in the City of Glendale.

All are welcome to attend these services.

Friday, February 4, 2005
11:00 AM
Henry Fonda Theater
6126 Hollywood Bl.
Hollywood, CA 90028


Parking will be available on the west side of the building between Argyle and El Centro. Carpooling or use of Public Transportation such as the Metro Red Line (Hollywood/Vine Station), is strongly encouraged.

The family has respectfully asked that any memorial donations be made to either:

Lyndsie Bennett
c/o Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union
1520 West Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105
Telephone: (800) 231-1626

...or the:

Los Angeles Firemen's Relief Association
Widows and Orphans Fund
2900 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Telephone: (800) 244-3439

We again wish to stress that all are welcome.