On Monday, January 23, 2006 at 9:58 AM, twenty-five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, seven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three Arson Units, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Rehab Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, one Helicopter, two EMS Battalion Captains, seven Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Deputy Chief, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, and other LA City and LA County agencies, under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at the Intersection of East 8th Street and South Central Avenue in the Central City/Fashion District.
First units on the scene reported a large two story produce building with a 150' x 150' portion of the structure well involved with fire on the first and second floors. (slideshow)
Due to the wind factor, one LAFD helicopter was requested to patrol down wind for hot embers and brands that could ignite other structures.
Firefighters entered the first floor with handlines to aggressively attack the fire that was spreading rapidly to the second floor and attic area. During the interior fire attack Firefighters encountered rapid fire spread and a large volume of heat and fire that forced them to withdraw from an interior attack and take up a defensive position on the exterior of the building with handlines and heavy stream appliances. (images)
After approximately two-hours and one minute, over one-hundred and seventy Firefighters confined and extinguished the fire in several produce businesses on the first floor of the "7th Street Market" and vacant offices on the second floor. (video)
Division walls separating portions of the large structure prevented significant vertical and horizontal fire spread to other uninvolved portions of the building.
Shortly after Firefighters had been ordered off a sagging portion of the roof, it collapsed.
Firefighter safety, preservation of produce in other parts of the building, the integrity of the structure's roof, floor and walls, the large volume of fire causing rapid fire spread, and downwind observation, were just some of the special concerns of the Incident Commander directing Fire Ground Operations at this Major Emergency Structure Fire.
No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is listed as under investigation. Fire damage is estimated at $1,000,000 ($800,000 structure and $200,000 contents).
Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department