Civilian Fatality Structure Fire in Los Angeles

Friday, April 29, 2005 |

On Friday, April 29, 2005, at 12:59 AM PDT, nine companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, five Arson Investigation Units, and other Fire Department Support Personnel, under the direction of Battalion Commander Raymundo Gomez, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire with Civilian Fatality at 1008 West Figueroa Terrace in the Civic Center area.

First units on the scene reported a two-story single family dwelling with fire showing and heavy smoke throughout the home. An occupant of the burning structure stating that three people were trapped inside the burning building met firefighters as they arrived on the scene.

Firefighters using handlines to aggressively attack the fire confined the fire to the structure and extinguished the blaze in thirty-one minutes.

During the intense fire attack and simultaneous search and rescue phase of the incident, Firefighters rescued three occupants from the burning home; all females, ages ten, sixty-five and seventy-eight and all were listed in very critical condition. The ten year old died shortly after her arrival at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, while the others were transported to County USC Medical Center and Good Samaritan Hospital.

Though functional hard-wired smoke alarms were discovered in the downstairs portion of the home, the sole smoke alarm found upstairs was determined to be non-functional and missing a battery. Loss to the heavily damaged residence is estimated at $400,000 ($250,000 structure & $150,000 contents). The cause of the fire remains categorized as under investigation.

Explosion with Fire in South Los Angeles

Thursday, April 28, 2005 |

On Thursday, April 28, 2005 at 12:58 AM PDT, nine Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain, an LAFD Hazardous Materials Squad, two Chief Officer Command Teams, as well as various LAFD support and investigative resources, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Richard Warford responded to an Explosion with Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 5964 South San Pedro Street in South Los Angeles.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover the after-affects of an apparent explosion within or near a 50’ x 100’ one-story commercial structure that was fully involved with fire.

With the structure all but destroyed prior to their arrival and flames impinging on high-tension electric lines, Firefighters deployed multiple master streams in a brisk defensive operation to prevent the fire from spreading to buildings on the north and east, as well as to a pair of trailers parked in a lot to the south.

The lightning-fast assault on the flames confined the fire to the structure of origin. The flames were extinguished in just 24 minutes. There were no injuries.

Loss to what is believed to have been a discount retail store is still being tabulated. The cause of both the apparent explosion and fire remain under active investigation.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in South LA

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 |

On Tuesday, April 26, 2005, at 1:56 P.M. PDT, eight companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Urban Search and Rescue Team, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, and other LAFD support personnel under the direction of Battalion Commander Michael L. Rhodes, responded to a reported Structure Fire at 7011 South Stanford Avenue in the South Los Angeles area.

First units on the scene reported a one story, 50’ x 100’, metal clad building with fire showing from a dust collection system located on the exterior of the building. Workers in the building informed Firefighters that a dust explosion had occurred in the collection system and there were no injuries.

Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire in the system confining it to the dust collection system of “Pallet Master Inc.” a pallet making company and extinguished the fire in one hour and five minutes.

One Fire Captain suffering from heat exhaustion was transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in good condition. No other injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation. Fire damage is estimated at $60,000, structure only.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Hollywood

Sunday, April 24, 2005 |

On Sunday, April 24, 2005 at 1:10 AM PDT, fourteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain, four Chief Officer Command Teams and LAFD support and investigative units, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 4910 Santa Monica Boulevard in southeast Hollywood.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a 50’ x 100’ one-story commercial occupancy well involved with fire. They forced entry and extended handlines to do battle with stubborn flames in the central portion of a trio of conjoined pre-1933 masonry retail structures.

The flames were confined to “Bread Land Bakery” and extinguished in just 58 minutes. There were no injuries.

Fire loss is estimated at $250,000 ($150,000 structure and $100,000 contents). Thanks to bold and decisive action by the first arriving Firefighters, neighboring businesses were spared damage. The cause of this fire remains under investigation.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Reseda

Saturday, April 23, 2005 |

On Saturday, April 23, 2005 at 6:26 AM PDT, thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, two EMS Battalion Captains, two Chief Officer Command Teams and LAFD support and investigative resources, all under the direction of Battalion Chief James Gaffney responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 7448 Reseda Boulevard in Reseda.

Alerted by a passing motorist, Firefighters quickly responded from their nearby station to discover heavy smoke showing from the western-most roof of a 75’ x 120’ one-story four-tenant strip mall.

Firefighters forced entry into the well-secured premises of a liquor store, and aided by timely and accurate vertical ventilation of the lightweight metal truss roof, confined the fire to the attic of the establishment.

The flames were extinguished in just 21 minutes, and there were no injuries.

An extraordinary effort by Firefighters to salvage business contents during fire attack severely limited damage. Structural loss to “Pour House Liquor” is estimated at $100,000. Neighboring businesses were spared damage.

Chief Gaffney worked closely with City Department of Transportation and Metro Bus officials to minimize impact upon regional transportation during the hour-long full closure of the major thoroughfare.

The cause of this early morning blaze is categorized as incendiary and remains the focus of a joint Fire and Police Department investigation.

Structure Fire in USC University Village

Thursday, April 21, 2005 |

On Wednesday 21, 2005 at 12:04 AM PDT, twenty-one Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances under EMS Captain David Pimentle, Arson Investigators, and four Chief Officer Command Teams under the direction of Assistant Chief John Badgett, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1005 West 28th Street in the USC University Village area.

First units on the scene reported heavy smoke coming from a vacant, two-story, Victorian-style fraternity house, under renovation.

During the initial, offensive assault on the fire, firefighters found a stubborn fire throughout the building with the attic well involved, the call was made to pull companies back and transition to a defensive attack on the fire.

Three ladder pipes and two wagon batteries were put into quick operation. When the bulk of the fire was knocked down, LAFD firefighters restaged an aggressive interior attack utilizing handlines to knock down the last of the determined fire in an earned one hour thirty-nine minutes.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire damage has been tabulated at $300,000.

Hazardous Materials Incident in Wilmington

Monday, April 18, 2005 |

On Sunday, April 17, 2005, at 5:52 PM PDT, six companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Battalion Officer Command Team, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, one Hazmat Squad, one Foam Tender, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, Long Beach FD, LA County FD, CHP, LAPD, and several LA City Agencies under the direction of Battalion Commander Louis Roupoli, responded to a Hazardous Materials Incident at 223rd Street and Wardlow at the on-ramp to the 405 Freeway in the Wilmington area.

First units on scene reported the trailer of a tank truck (Cox Petroleum) had over turned while attempting to negotiate a turn to enter the on-ramp of the 405 Freeway. The trailer contained approximately 5,000 gallons of gasoline, and approximately 100 gallons of the product had leak from the trailer.

When the spilled product was contained and foamed and the trailer was stabilized and grounded, Firefighters drilled holes in the trailer and inserted a “stinger” to off load the product into a vacuum truck.

A heavy-duty tow truck uprighted the trailer and the incident was turned over to the Los Angeles Police Department for investigation.

Major Emergency Structure Fire in Tarzana

Sunday, April 17, 2005 |

On Sunday, April 17, 2005, at 7:01 AM PDT, sixteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, the Fire Chief, one Deputy Chief, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, five Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, Arson Investigators, Building & Safety, and other Fire Department resources, under the direction of Assistant Chief Curtis James, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 19235 West Ventura Boulevard in the Tarzana area.

First units on the scene reported a one-story strip mall with heavy smoke showing from one unit. During the initial aggressive fire attack by Firefighters, they reported heavy fire through the roof with a portion of the roof collapsed ahead of them from the weight of an air conditioning unit.

Continuing their aggressive attack on the fire with handlines that was now well ventilated, Firefighters confined the fire to “One on One Personal Fitness” a 6,000 square foot fitness gym, and extinguished the fire in one hour and nine minutes.

Several of the other eight occupancies sustained smoke damage but no fire damage. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is listed as electrical. Fire damage is estimated at $500,000. ($300,000 structure and $200,00 contents).

River Rescue in Pacoima

Tuesday, April 05, 2005 |

On Tuesday, April 05, 2005, at 5:23 pm PDT, five companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Battalion Officer Command Team, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two LAFD Helicopter, and San Fernando Police Officers, under the direction of Battalion Commander Jack Wise, responded to a River Rescue at the Pacoima Wash and Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the Pacoima area.

First LAFD units on the scene were met by San Fernando Police Officers and they immediately directed Firefighters and Paramedics to a location were two teenage males were stranded in the Pacoima Wash, in water approximately one foot deep and moving about 5-10 mile per hour.

One male was rescued by San Fernando Police Officers just as Firefighters arrived on the scene. Los Angeles Firefighters using a technical rescue operation rescued the other male that was seen clutching to a bridge abutment.

It was reported that the teens had entered the wash on their bicycles approximately four miles up stream (El Cariso Park area) and were swept down stream to the location where they were rescued.

Both teens were transported to Olive View Medical Center in good condition with minor injuries.

Greater Alarm Fire in Boyle Heights

Friday, April 01, 2005 |

On Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 4:27 PM PST, fifteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three EMS Battalion Captains, five Chief Officer Command Teams and various LAFD support units, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 427 South Boyle Avenue in Boyle Heights.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover heavy fire showing from the third floor of a nearly 30,000 square-foot modern three-story combination garden-style and center-hallway apartment building.

Firefighters using handlines mounted a brisk offense within the wood frame and stucco structure, confining the fire to the apartment of origin and extinguishing the flames in just 26 minutes.

Well-calculated vertical ventilation of the heat, smoke and flames by Firefighters, combined with simultaneous salvage efforts, limited the fire’s collateral impact of smoke damage to only the adjoining apartments in the 35-unit building.

One adult male who had attempted to battle the flames prior to the Fire Department’s arrival, sustained respiratory distress and second-degree burns to both hands. He was treated by LAFD Paramedics and transported in serious condition to White Memorial Medical Center.

Displaced by the fire and receiving assistance from the American Red Cross are the injured man, his wife, son and daughter.

Loss from the blaze, started by the man’s six year-old boy playing with fire in the kitchen, is estimated at $180,000 ($150,000 structure & $30,000 contents). LAFD members trained to work closely with juvenile firesetters, are offering supportive guidance to all members of the family.