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A Warrior at Rest...

Sunday, July 31, 2005 |


Sometimes people will catch a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department in a moment of deep introspection. While our rare quiet moments could have us thinking of many things, there are some people who are always on our mind. They of course, are the men and women of our Armed Forces.

While there is precious little we as Firefighters can say or do to help them overseas, we always want them to know that we are here to protect their loved ones and respect their fallen colleagues.

And so it was this weekend, in a story you won't read in the paper or see on the evening news: The homecoming of Petty Officer James Suh.

Grand Opening of new Fire Station 77

Thursday, July 28, 2005 |

Architect's Mockup - Station 77 is now in service
Dear Friend of the LAFD:

You are cordially invited to join civic and community leaders, including Fire Chief William Bamattre at the public grand opening and formal dedication ceremony for the Los Angeles Fire Department's recently completed Fire Station 77 in Sun Valley. Please join us...

Saturday, August 20th
Saturday, September 17, 2005
10:00 AM
New Fire Station 77
9224 Sunland Boulevard
Sun Valley, CA 91352

We are pleased to offer an interactive map and driving directions to this new facility, which is now in service and protecting the Sun Valley, Sunland, Shadow Hills and La Tuna Canyon neighborhoods of the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

All members of the community are warmly welcomed to join us for this public event, which has been rescheduled to Saturday, September 17th.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 77 and the many Fire Department facilities being modernized by Proposition F by viewing a highly detailed Monthly Progress Report.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

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

Hollywood Hazardous Materials Investigation

Friday, July 15, 2005 |

Image courtesy of ::jozjozjoz:: via blogging.la

On Friday, July 15, 2005 at 2:29 PM PDT, eight Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulances, one LAFD Hazardous Materials Task Force, one EMS District Captain and two Chief Officer Command Teams under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 1254 North Gower Street in Hollywood.

Los Angeles Police Officers requested allied agencies for assistance in securing and identifying several unknown products, items or substances from a second floor apartment.

Purely as a precaution, occupants of the eight-unit garden style apartment building, as well as residents of several adjacent single-family homes were asked to promptly vacate their premises. These 75 persons remained calmly nearby in the neighborhood as Joint Command was established between Law Enforcement and Fire officials.

Firefighter Hazardous Materials experts and their Police Department counterparts then donned protective gear to enter the apartment, where they collected a small quantity of unidentified items.

Following an on-site analysis, the items were deemed fit for routine transport from the scene by Law Enforcement officials.

There were no injuries, and neighborhood residents were allowed to return to their homes.

The County of Los Angeles Health HazMat Division and Federal Bureau of Investigation will handle this matter to conclusion.

Shadow Hills Wildfire Scorches Five Acres

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On Friday, July 15, 2005 at 12:07 PM PDT, nineteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three Los Angeles Fire Department Helicopters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS District Captain, three LAFD Battalion Officer Command Teams and various LAFD support and investigative resources, as well as one Helicopter and four Handcrews from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and seven Engines and one Water Tender from the US Forest Service, all under the direction of LAFD Assistant Chief Anthony Varela responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire southwest of Sunland Boulevard and the Foothill Freeway in the Shadow Hills/Sunland area.

The first LAFD Companies arrived quickly to discover one-half acre of vegetation burning in rugged terrain and being fanned uphill by light offshore winds towards heavier brush.

Firefighters extended hose lines and carried hand tools in oppressive noontime heat across steep terrain to effectively anchor and flank the flames while precise drops of water and firefighting foam from Fire Department helicopters attacked the head of the fire.

The presence of an established Fire Department wildfire helipad immediately adjacent to the blaze allowed for sorties of less than one minute each, multiplying the effectiveness of assigned air resources.

Despite near-record heat well into the triple digits, Firefighters relentlessly attacked the blaze, preventing it from approaching nearby homes. The flames were confined to five acres of highly volatile dry grass and medium density brush and fully extinguished in just 2 hours and 30 minutes.

During the prolonged and arduous ground assault, one Firefighter succumbed to the ill effects of heat. In fair condition, he was transported to an area hospital for observation.

No other injuries were reported.

Though there was a homeless encampment in the area, the relationship of that encampment to the fire has not yet been determined.

The cause of the fire remains categorized as “under active investigation” by a team of Los Angeles Fire Department Investigators.

Firefighters Face Pack-Rat Conditions at Mid-Wilshire Fire

Saturday, July 09, 2005 |

On Friday, July 08, 2005, at 2:41 PM PDT, twelve companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two Deputy Chiefs, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Battalion EMS Captain, two Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Investigation Unit, and Emergency Air, under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael S. Fulmis, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 209 South Westmoreland Avenue in the Mid-Wilshire area.

First units on the scene reported a three-story, center hallway apartment building with heavy smoke showing from the second floor.

Due to a water supply problem at the hydrant, Firefighters were temporarily delayed in the hallway during the initial fire attack. With the water supply problem quickly resolved, Firefighters forced entry into the involved unit and were immediately confronted with “pack rat” like conditions, extreme heat, and heavy smoke.

Using handlines to aggressively attack the fire in the involved unit, Firefighters traversed the complex narrow passageways in the unit to find the seat of the fire and extinguished it in twenty-three minutes.

The fire was confined to the involved unit with no vertical or horizontal extension.

A seventy-six year old female suffering from anxiety and minor smoke inhalation was transported to Kaiser – Los Angeles in good condition and no other injuries were reported.

The fire displaced one person and the apartment manager will assist the sixty-year old victim with temporary shelter.

Fire damage is estimated at $80,000. ($60,000, $20,000 contents). The cause of the fire is listed as combustibles on a stove with a heat source from a gas burner.

Vehicle Collides with Metro Bus near City Hall

Thursday, July 07, 2005 |

Image courtesy of echo_29
On Thursday, July 07, 2005, at 7:36 PM PDT, three companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, two Battalion EMS Captains, and five Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulances, under the direction of Battalion Commander Raymundo Gomez, responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision at the intersection of West 1st Street and South Spring Street in the Civic Center area.

First units on the scene reported a collision between a Metro bus and a private vehicle that was wedged beneath the Metro bus with no patient entrapment. The driver of the private vehicle had self-extricated prior to the arrival of the Fire Department.

Five victims from the bus and the driver of the private vehicle were triaged, treated and transported to two area hospitals for non-life threatening injuries.

Two other passengers from the bus were treated on the scene and released.

Metro officials and the Los Angeles Police Department are investigating the incident.

Fire Damages Woodland Hills Charter School

Wednesday, July 06, 2005 |

On Wednesday, July 6, 2005 at 5:05 AM PDT, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters and one Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance under the Command of Battalion Chief John Duca responded to a Structure Fire at 19722 Collier Street in Woodland Hills.

Firefighters arrived quickly at the seven acre campus of "CHIME Charter Elementary School" to discover fire showing through the roof of a 100' x 40' one-story administrative building.

Firefighters forced entry and enhanced ventilation of heat and smoke as they commenced a strategic assault with handlines against the well-entrenched flames.

As a simultaneous search of the burning structure determined no persons to be in peril, salvage efforts were quickly mounted by Firefighters to protect the school records and equipment contained in and near the area of fire involvement.

The fire was contained to a cluster of offices and attic in the central portion of the brick building, and extinguished in just nineteen minutes.

During the intense physical activities of forced entry, ventilation and initial fire attack, one Firefighter sustained a back injury. In fair condition, he was transported to nearby Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and later released.

No other injuries were reported.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $110,000 ($75,000 structure and $35,000 contents). A team of Los Angeles Fire Department Investigators determined this fire to be electrical in nature, sparked by a malfunction within a computer server closet.

Upon completion of the detailed fire investigation, Los Angeles School Police were summoned to secure the premises.

Fire Sprinklers Save Wilmington Classroom

Tuesday, July 05, 2005 |

On Tuesday, July 5, 2005 at 2:31 AM PDT, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters and one Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance under the Command of Battalion Chief Patrick Butler responded to a Structure Fire at 1754 Gulf Avenue in Wilmington.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a small fire in one classroom at "Wilmington Middle School" held in check by a properly functioning fire sprinkler system. The flames were fully extinguished by Firefighters in just sixteen minutes.

There were no injuries.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $8,000 ($3,000 structure and $5,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze was determined to be electrical in nature, and is attributed to a computer power supply that may have been left on during the long holiday weekend.

Los Angeles School Police were summoned to secure the building.

Arson Blaze Guts San Fernando Business

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On Tuesday, July 5, 2005, at 12:49 AM PDT, fifteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulances, two Battalion EMS Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and various LAFD investigative and support resources under the direction of Assistant Chief Curtis James responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1026 Griswold Avenue in the City of San Fernando.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy fire through the roof of one centrally located business of a trio occupying a 300’ deep x 800’ wide one-story concrete tilt-up commercial structure.

Firefighters deftly forced entry into the well-secured “Aleph International Corporation” to find intense fire within the fire-sprinklered building.

Using multiple hoselines and supported by Firefighter enhanced vertical ventilation, LAFD members fought a tenacious interior battle within the electronics firm for nearly one-half hour before that portion of the building’s roof became compromised, causing a well orchestrated transition to defensive operations and the use of master streams.

Despite the intensity of fire and firefighting operations, Firefighters skillfully spared the adjoining garment business and machine shop from damage. Firefighters completely extinguished the flames in just fifty-five minutes.

There were no injuries.

Fire loss is estimated at $1,000,000. ($500,000 structure and $500,000 contents). The fire’s origin was expertly traced by a team of LAFD Arson Investigators to a pair of trash dumpsters located in a rear parking area that were intentionally set ablaze.

Major Emergency Brush Fire in West Hills

Monday, July 04, 2005 |

On Monday, July 4, 2005 at 6:02 PM PDT, twenty-two Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four Los Angeles Fire Department Helicopters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one LAFD Battalion EMS Captain, five LAFD Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and various LAFD support and investigative resources, as well as one Helicopter and two Hand Crews from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, all under the command of LAFD Assistant Chief Curtis James, responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire southwest of Roscoe Boulevard and Valley Circle Boulevard in West Hills.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover two acres of light grass and medium brush burning steadily in wildland bordered by single-family homes.

Firefighters using handlines and hand tools scrambled up hillsides to do battle with flames which briefly threatened more than a dozen homes on three streets above the fire.

Aided by a combination of precise and timely helicopter water drops and code-compliant brush clearance by homeowners, Firefighters confined the fire to less than five acres of grass and brush, extinguishing the flames in just one hour.

There were no injuries, and none of the threatened structures sustained damage.

LAFD Arson Investigators have determined that this fire was caused by fireworks.

It is important to note that all fireworks, even the so-called “safe and sane” variety have been illegal in the City of Los Angeles for more than sixty years.

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).