Greater Alarm Fire atop Hollywood Highrise

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 |

On Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 3:55 PM PDT, fourteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one EMS District Captain, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two LAFD Helicopters, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams as well as various LAFD support and investigative resources, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis responded to a Greater Alarm High Rise Structure Fire at 6290 West Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

The first Companies arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke showing from the roof of the nineteen-story “Sunset Vine Tower”, a long vacant 306-foot tall high-rise office structure and once popular filming site undergoing residential conversion.

LAFD forces quickly secured control of the lobby region and stairwells of forty-two year-old building, in which many of the key fire prevention systems had been deactivated due to construction.

With detailed knowledge of the building gained during fire prevention and tactical preplan inspections, several teams of Firefighters, carrying as much as 100 pounds of equipment each, climbed 38 flights of stairs to access the rooftop of the City’s 57th tallest building, finding it well involved with fire.

As LAFD Helicopters circled overhead, Fire Attack and Support Teams established staging on the floor below the fire, optimizing a strategic assault against the well-entrenched flames.

Firefighters confined the blaze to the large equipment enclosure, extinguishing the flames in just 22 minutes. There were no injuries. Firefighters, apparently exposed to asbestos during the firefight, decontaminated their personal protective equipment and themselves following the fire.

Damage to the unoccupied building was determined to be of no monetary value, as the region scorched by flames was in the process of being demolished and renovated. The cause of the fire is categorized as accidental and is attributed to a cutting torch operation earlier in the day.


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Multi-Patient Traffic Collision with Entrapment

Monday, May 30, 2005 |

On Monday, May 30, 2005 at 10:10 p.m. PDT, five companies of Los Angeles firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain, one LAFD Heavy Rescue and one Urban Search and Rescue Squad, under the direction of Battalion Commander Evan Williams responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision with People Trapped on the 170 Freeway, just South of Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover two vehicles and one motorcycle involved in a collision with entrapment of passengers.

In one vehicle, firefighters found two male patients, both in their sixties, complaining of blunt chest trauma and various cuts and bruises to their extremities. Both men had to be extricated, utilizing specialized equipment such as the Jaws of Life, and were attentively transported, in critical condition, to nearby Hospitals.

A male and female, ranging in age from mid-twenties to thirties, traveling in another mid-sized vehicle, were treated for neck and back pain and abdominal pain respectively and transported in good condition.

A male motorcyclist, in his thirties, was treated on the scene for minor leg pain and transported to County USC Medical Center.

Officials from the California Highway Patrol are actively investigating the collision.

Horse Rescue in Sun Valley

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On Monday, May 30, 2005 at 09:41 a.m. PDT, nine companies of Los Angeles firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS District Captain, one LAFD Helicopter, one LAFD Heavy Rescue, and two Urban Search and Rescue units, all under the direction of Battalion Commander Michael Bowman responded to a Horse Rescue on the horse trails at 11098 West McBroom Street in Sun Valley.

When the dedicated men and women of the LAFD arrived on scene, they found a horse stuck in the mire up to the belly. LAFD contacted Animal Services who immediately responded to the scene and firefighters quickly went to work to affect a rescue, under their guidance.

During the rescue operation a male acquaintance of the horse rider, became briefly pinned by the thrashing horse as he attempted to provide comfort to the equine. The man was extricated, treated on scene, and transported with a possible fracture of the left ankle, to Kaiser Hospital.

After several attempts, utilizing a harness, rescue ropes, and manpower, the horse was eventually freed from the confining mud in just one hour and forty-eight minutes. Following the successful effort of the firefighters, the horse was carefully rinsed off and a veterinarian was summoned to the scene to examine the horse for injury. The horse, named Lacy, is reported to be in good condition.

Griffith Park Blaze Held to Less than 5 Acres

Sunday, May 29, 2005 |

On Sunday, May 29, 2005 at 5:34 PM PDT, twenty-one Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Helicopters, one LAFD Brush Patrol, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS District Captain, six LAFD Battalion Officer Command Teams and two Handcrews from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, all under the direction of LAFD Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire east of the picnic areas adjacent to the Wilson-Harding Golf Complex in Griffith Park.

Guided by Park Rangers, The first Fire Companies arrived quickly to discover one-half acre of vegetation burning in rugged terrain and being fanned by light winds towards heavier brush.

Firefighters extended hose lines and carried hand tools up the steep hillsides to anchor the flames while the trio of Los Angeles Fire Department helicopters commenced a synchronized aerial assault with precise water drops at the head and flanks of the fire.

The synergy of these efforts confined the blaze to four and one-half acres of brush. Thanks to Firefighters efforts, the flames came no closer than one-quarter mile from the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, and at no time threatened that facility.

No structures were in the path of the flames, and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remains categorized as “under active investigation”.

Brush Fire Threatens Homes in Cypress Park

Saturday, May 28, 2005 |

On Saturday May 28, 2005, at 8:07 p.m. PDT, twenty companies of Los Angeles firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three Helicopters, one EMS Supervisors, five Chief Officer Command teams, and other LAFD support personnel, under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis, responded to a Greater Alarm Brush Fire at 3614 North Roseview Avenue in Cypress Park.

First units on the scene reported approximately one-quarter acre of light grass and brush burning on a hillside moving in the direction of several homes.

Firefighters immediately went to work, putting handlines into operation, and making a stand at several structures located above the fire.

The aggressive tactics of the men and women of the LAFD, aided by helicopter water drops, contained the fire to the light flashy fuels alone leaving no homes immediately threatened.

The fire was extinguished in just one hour and twelve minutes and contained to approximately three acres only.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Greater Alarm Brush Fire Near 118 Freeway in Chatsworth

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On Saturday May 28, 2005, at 1:46 p.m. PDT, fourteen companies of Los Angeles firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, four Helicopters, two EMS Supervisors, two Chief Officer Command teams, one Assistant Chief Command Team, and assistance from several outside agencies, under the direction of Assistant Chief Anthony Varela, responded to a Greater Alarm Brush Fire at the Eastbound 118 Freeway at Rocky Peak Road in the Chatsworth area.

First units on the scene reported approximately two acres of brush burning on a 45-degree slope with no wind present.

Handlines were aggressively put into operation aided by helicopter water drops and with assistance from Ventura County Fire, and Los Angeles County Camp Crews, the fire was quickly surrounded by hardworking firefighters from Los Angeles Fire Department and was contained in just one hour.

No injuries were reported, and no homes were threatened. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Mid-City

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On Saturday, May 28, 2005, at 8:21 a.m. PDT, eight companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, and one EMS Captain, under the direction of Battalion Chief John Drake, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 123 West Fremont Place in the Mid-City area.

The dedicated men and women of the LAFD arrived quickly to find heavy smoke showing from a large two-story single-family dwelling. Upon further investigation, firefighters located a fire in the basement and rapidly began utilizing hose lines and aggressive firefighting tactics to knock down the fire in just 24 minutes and confining the fire solely to the basement.

The 1930’s structure was reported to be undergoing a major remodel, punctuating the importance of safe extinguishment tactics, however there were no reported injuries to residents or firefighters.

Damage to the structure is listed as $95,000 ($75,000 structure and $20,000 contents). The cause of this fire is listed as electrical.

Brush Fire Scorches 3 Acres in Cypress Park

Thursday, May 19, 2005 |

On Thursday, May 19, 2005, at 12:21 PM PDT, twelve companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, three LAFD Helicopters, one Arson Unit, and other LAFD support personnel, under the direction of Assistant Chief John Ware, responded to a Greater Alarm Brush fire at 807 Isabel Street in the Cypress Park/Mount Washington area.

First units on the scene reported approximately two acres of grass and light brush burning on a hillside and moving in the direction of several homes. Firefighters using handlines and aided by helicopter water drops aggressively attacked the fire and confined it to approximately three acres of brush and grass.

The fire threatened five homes, but quick defensive action by Firefighters prevented fire spread to the structures. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation.

Greater Alarm Apartment Fire in Panorama City

Sunday, May 15, 2005 |

On Saturday, May 14, 2005, at 9:09 PM PDT, eleven companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Arson investigation units, two Battalion EMS Supervisors, and other LAFD support personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Mark J. Saxelby, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 9009 Cedros Avenue in Panorama City.

First units on the scene reported a two-story apartment building with fire showing from one unit on the second floor. Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire while simultaneously conducting a preliminary search and rescue of the involved unit. The fire was confined to the one unit and extinguished in approximately fourteen minutes.

As a result of the fire, two elderly occupants were treated for minor smoke inhalation. The sole male occupant of the involved unit was transported to Mission Community Hospital in good condition and a female occupant of the building was treated on the scene and released.

Most of the elderly occupants in the thirty-unit apartment building were sheltered in place and only a limited evacuation was necessary. No other injuries were reported.

Fire damage is estimated at $90,000. ($75,000 structure and $15,000 contents). The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation.

Greater Alarm Fire at Hollywood Church

Saturday, May 14, 2005 |

On Saturday, May 14, 2005, at 5:15 p.m. PDT, seven companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, and the House of Worship Task Force, under the direction of Battalion Commander Craig Fry, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1711 North Van Ness Avenue in the Hollywood area.

First units on the scene reported a two-story church with heavy smoke showing from the first floor. Entering the first floor with handlines, Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire emanating from one room inside the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Using the handlines to aggressively attack the fire, Firefighters confined the fire to the one room and extinguished it in eleven minutes, thus limiting fire spread to other parts of the church.

No injuries were reported. Fire damage is estimated at $25,000. ($20,000 structure and $5,000 contents).

The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation.

Greater Alarm Grass Fire in Elysian Park

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On Saturday, May 14, 2005, at 1:55 PM PDT, nine companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three Helicopters, two LA County Camp Crews, and other LAFD support personnel, under the direction of Battalion Chief Raymundo Gomez, responded to Greater Alarm Grass Fire at the NB 110 Fy and Academy Road in the Elysian Park area.

First units on the scene reported two acres of grass and brush burning on a hillside in steep and inaccessible terrain. Firefighters using handlines, heavy stream appliances, and aided by helicopter water drops, aggressively attacked the fire confining it to approximately seven acres of grass/brush and extinguished the fire in one hour and sixteen minutes.

No injuries were reported and no structures were threatened.

The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation.

Traffic Collision involving LAFD Engine

Friday, May 06, 2005 |

On Thursday, May 05, 2005, at 9:40 AM PDT, five companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, the Fire Chief, two Deputy Department Commanders, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, three Battalion EMS Supervisors, seven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Urban Search and Rescue Team, one Heavy Utility, and other Fire Department resources, under the direction of Assistant Chief Roxanne Bercik, responded to a traffic collision involving an LAFD Fire Engine and several private vehicles with people trapped, at the intersection of West Jefferson Boulevard and South Budlong Avenue in the USC University Village area.

First units on scene reported a collision involving three private vehicles, a tree, and a Los Angeles Fire Department Engine that was responding to an emergency incident and traveling westbound on Jefferson Boulevard with all emergency warning lights and siren activated.

Four Firefighters were injured; all suffered non-serious injuries to include sprains, back & neck injuries and lacerations.

With one car heavily damaged from the direct impact with the Fire Engine, the three occupants of the vehicle were trapped; Firefighters used extrication tools to extricate the three occupants (one female DOA and two males critical).

Two occupants from a second vehicle suffered minor/serious injuries and one person from a third vehicle was treated on the scene and released with minor injuries.

The injured Firefighters were transported to California Hospital were they were treated and subsequently released. The civilian injuries were transported to Midway Hospital, County USC Medical Center, and California Hospital.

The cause of the collision is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Specialized Collision Investigation Detail (SCID) unit and the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Hazardous Materials Incident in Van Nuys

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 |

On Wednesday, May 4, 2005 at 8:41 AM PDT, eight Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, ten LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one LAFD Hazardous Materials Task Force, one LAFD Helicopter, three EMS Battalion Captains and three Chief Officer Command Teams under the direction of Battalion Chief Patrick Butler responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 6635 Tobias Avenue in Van Nuys.

Firefighters arrived quickly at St. Elisabeth Parish School and were directed to a two-story school building, where according to staff, a male custodian cleaning debris in an interior first floor hallway discovered an unknown product in powder form, and soon thereafter complained of minor eye and respiratory irritation.

Early reports that this substance was related to school vandalism proved to be false.

Firefighters subsequently encountered nine adult staff members with identical complaints. Following a medical evaluation by Firefighter/Paramedics in fresh air, their symptoms subsided. All were released at the scene without acute need for treatment or transportation.

A total of 290 students in the Kindergarten through 8th grade facility were offered comfort and reassurance while being calmly sheltered in place. The students and other faculty members expressed no malaise, and displayed no signs of distress.

LAFD Hazardous Materials experts thoroughly evaluated the scene and identified the product in question to be "sodium bicarbonate".

It was later determined to have been remnant of a previously donated child's chemistry set discarded in or near a school waste can. County of Los Angeles Health HazMat Division workers will further investigate the incident.

High Rise Fire in Century City

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On Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 2053 (8:53 PM PDT), twenty-two Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, six LAFD Rescue Ambulances under three EMS Captains, two LAFD Helicopters, one squad and six Chief Officer Command Teams under the direction of Assistant Chief Roxanne Bercik, responded to 2170 South Century Park East in the Century City area.

The first company on scene reported smoke showing from the 18th floor of a 21 story residential high rise, containing 480 units, known as the Century Park East Condominiums.

Firefighters secured the lobby and ascended the stairs to confirm a fire blazing in one room of a unit on the 18th floor. Quick work by the men and women of the LAFD kept the fire confined to the single apartment. The fire was knocked down in just 50 minutes. During firefighting operations over 200 residents were evacuated to safety and there were no injuries reported.

Following the physically demanding overhaul of the fire, one Fire Captain experienced chest discomfort. He was transported to UCLA Medical Center in Westwood in fair condition and admitted for observation. Cause of the fire is reported to be accidental and is attributed to a stove fire. Damage is estimated to be $250,000 ($150,000 structure and $100,000 contents).

Firefighter Injured in Central City Blaze

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On Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 1:03 PM PDT, eight Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Captain, and one Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Assistant Chief Richard Warford, responded to a structure fire at 917 South Maple Avenue in the Central City area.

Firefighters discovered smoke showing from a three-story, pre-1933 commercial building. Upon further investigation, the hardworking members of the LAFD found a rubbish fire in the elevator shaft, being restricted by a sprinkler. The fire remained confined to the shaft and was fully extinguished by firefighters in just 15 minutes.

During firefighting operations, one firefighter sustained an electrical shock as he climbed the aerial ladder and made contact with power lines via his Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. Though initially believed to be in serious condition, upon observation at Good Samaritan Hospital, he was treated and released. The cause of the fire is considered suspicious and damage is still being tabulated.

Structure Fire in the Crenshaw District

Monday, May 02, 2005 |

On Monday, May 2, 2005 at 12:07 PM PDT, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain and two Chief Officer Command Teams under the direction of Battalion Commander Ralph Ramirez responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 4353 Crenshaw Boulevard in the Crenshaw district.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy smoke and fire showing from "Housewives Ninty Eight Cent" a discount retail store located centrally within a one-story strip mall.

Discovering the retailer to be closed for business and physically secured, Firefighters deftly forced entry and extended handlines to mount a brisk offense on well-entrenched flames within the 50' x 50' retail unit.

The fire was confined to the one business and extinguished in just 20 minutes. There were no injuries.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $125,000 ($75,000 structure & $50,000 contents). The cause of this blaze is categorized as electrical.

Groundbreaking for new LAFD Station 36

Sunday, May 01, 2005 |

Dear Friend of the LAFD:

You are cordially invited to join Mayor James K. Hahn, Fire Chief William Bamattre and civic and community leaders at the groundbreaking ceremony for new Los Angeles Fire Station 36 in San Pedro. Please join us...

Monday, May 2nd, 2005
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
1055 North Gaffey Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

We are pleased to offer an interactive map and driving directions. All are welcome.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 36 and the many Fire Department facilities being modernized by Proposition F by viewing the Monthly Progress Report.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Greater Alarm Structure Fire in Mid-City

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On Saturday, April 30, 2005 at 8:40 PM PDT, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain and two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams under the direction of Assistant Chief Roxanne Bercik responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 5315 San Vicente Boulevard in the Mid-City.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke showing from a wood-frame and stucco two-story building of apartments over commercial storage. Firefighters forced entry into the firmly secured building and extended handlines to mount a brisk offense on stubborn flames, which had extended from a second floor utility room to the attic.

Their aggressive and well-coordinated offense confined the fire to the aforementioned areas and extinguished the flames in just 24 minutes. There were no injuries.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $125,000 ($75,000 structure & $50,000 contents). The cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.