Passerby Rescues Woman From North Hollywood Fire

Thursday, August 24, 2006 |

Photo courtesy of Christian Granucci LAFD. Click for more images...On Thursday, August 24, 2006 at 4:31 PM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, two Hazardous Materials Squads, three EMS Battalion Captains, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Curtis James responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 10706 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy fire showing from the window of one downstairs unit of a modern 17-unit, two-story over parking garden-style condominium.

As flames lapped from the downstairs east side window of the involved unit towards an untimely opened window of the condominium above, Firefighters laboriously extended handlines to do quick battle within the 777 square-foot unit from a center courtyard, as their colleagues forced entry to successfully defend the upstairs residence.

As a tenacious firefight continued, Firefighters were made aware of a passing motorist who had seen the smoke and attempted to force entry into the involved unit. The Burbank man, unable to access the fiercely burning residence, then broke a window to force entry into an adjacent unit filling with smoke, and in the words of Battalion Chief Evan Williams "heroically rescued" a 92 year-old female resident.

Firefighter/Paramedics went immediately to the aid of the woman, as well as to her rescuer, who had sustained a sizeable laceration to his left hand during his rescue effort.

Brisk and skilful work by Firefighters confined the bulk of the fire to a bedroom in the unit of origin, and extinguished the flames in just eighteen minutes.

Thankfully, the woman's smoke exposure was minimal, and the man's hand quickly bandaged, as both declined further treatment or transportation. One Firefighter was subsequently examined for possible thermal exposure to his neck, before immediately returning to duty on the fireground.

No other injuries were reported.

Not present at the time of the fire yet displaced by the blaze, were an adult female resident of the involved unit and her two year-old son, who were to seek their own accommodations.

Fire loss to non-fire sprinklered two bedroom, two bath condominium unit is estimated at $95,000 ($75,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The cause of this late afternoon blaze is listed as electrical, with a focus on wiring behind upholstered furniture.

(images) (slideshow)

incident images courtesy of

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Anne said...

Great work by all, including the passerby who stopped to help. My comment is that only in Los Angeles is it possible to live in a 777 square foot condominium with two bedrooms. A Barbie Dream House has more space!

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Thanks for your kind words about our efforts, which are in many ways chronicled in this on-line slideshow, yet don't adequately reflect our profound admiration for the Good Samaritan who placed himself in harms way to rescue the 92 year-old woman.

Please know that we've had the pleasure of visiting and serving many citizens in similarly sized apartments and condominiums, and can agree that it often takes the ingenuity of an Angeleno (and the spirit of a Manhattanite?) to excel at living in compact spaces - but excel they do!

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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