Firefighters Handle HazMat Spill near Harbor Freeway

Monday, February 27, 2006 |

On Monday, February 27, 2006 at 1:55 PM, three Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Hazardous Materials Task Force, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Arguelles responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation near 400 West Exposition Boulevard in the Exposition Park area.

Firefighters arrived quickly during a period of heavy rain to discover two 55-gallon drums that had fallen from the rear of a delivery truck entering the sloped onramp to the northbound 110 (Harbor) Freeway at Exposition Boulevard.

According to witnesses, one of the drums was immediately righted and remained intact, while the other barrel leaked approximately 25 gallons of a 75% solution of Phosphoric Acid.

Though there were no injuries and evacuation was not necessary, Firefighters established a perimeter for traffic and crowd control in the immediate area.

No freeway lane closure was required.

Firefighters obtained shipping papers and interviewed the driver while LAFD Hazardous Materials experts affirmed the product identity and sought to control its spread. It was soon determined that the product had entered the storm drain system prior to the Fire Department's arrival and that there was no escalating hazard at the scene.

In the midst of severe rain and pursuant of protocol, Firefighters notified environmental officials, including the California Department of Fish and Game, the United States Coast Guard, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works as well as the Los Angeles County Fire Department Health Hazardous Materials Division, who were to handle the investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Watts Traffic Collision Hospitalizes Seven

Saturday, February 25, 2006 |

On Saturday, February 25, 2006 at 2:08 PM, three Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, eight LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Greg Gibson responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision at 11328 South Central Avenue in Watts.

Firefighters arrived quickly at an intersection north of the Glenn Anderson Freeway to discover the collision of as many as five passenger vehicles with eight persons in need of medical evaluation. Despite the force of the collision and vehicle damage, there was no entrapment or evidence of ejection.

Contrary to multiple reports from 9-1-1 callers, there were no pedestrians involved.

Firefighters promptly triaged the eight patients, ages 5-53, none of whom had sustained life threatening injuries. One patient, a 48 year-old female, declined further medical care and was released at the scene.

The remaining seven patients, including a five year-old boy and fifteen year-old girl, were treated and transported to the Harbor-UCLA and King-Drew Medical Centers.

Officials from the Los Angeles Police Department South Traffic Division will be handling the investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD News Blog Visitors Offer Important Insight

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Since it's inception in 2004, the Los Angeles Fire Department News & Information blog has been visited more than a quarter-million times.

A casual survey of 225 blog visitors has given us some interesting insight. Among poll participants...

  • A clear majority visit our blog once per day.

  • One-out-of-four check our site twice or more each day.

  • One-out-of-five check in three or more times per week.

  • Frequent visitors account for a full 70% of poll participants.

LAFD News Blog Visitor Frequency Poll


We'd like to thank those who participated in the survey, as they reaffirmed our notion that visitors are seeking fresh and timely content.

You'll find our latest poll in the right column of our blog. We encourage your frank participation, as we arm ourselves with the information necessary to make our digital outreach more fitting to your needs and interests.

Again, thanks for helping to guide our efforts. Your general comments about our blogging efforts are welcomed as a public reply to this particular message.

Fire in Northridge Home Takes Mans Life

Friday, February 24, 2006 |

On Friday, February 24, 2006 at 4:51 AM, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Arson Units, one Hazardous Materials Team, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Robert Rose responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 18750 Napa Street in Northridge.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy fire showing from a one-story single family dwelling. Forcing entry into the home, they made quick work at tackling a well-entrenched fire.

During fire attack, they discovered a twenty-seven year-old male within the home. Without vital signs of life, he was declared deceased at the scene.

First arriving Firefighters recall no immediate evidence of a functional Smoke Alarm within the residence. Neighbors however, suggest hearing a sound that may have been an activated alarm sometime prior to learning of the fire. There were no security bars or other obvious impairments to egress.

The fire was confined to the 1,216 square-foot structure and extinguished in less than sixteen minutes.

Monetary loss from the blaze is estimated at $200,000 ($150,000 structure & $50,000 contents). The fire's cause has been determined to be accidental in nature.

A positive identification of the deceased, as well as the exact cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by Coroner's officials.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Grand Opening of Fire Station 83 in Encino

Thursday, February 23, 2006 |

Artist concept of recently opened LAFD Station 83

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department warmly welcome you to join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmembers Jack Weiss and Greig Smith as well as civic and community leaders, including Fire Chief William Bamattre at the public dedication and grand opening of the LAFD's newest Neighborhood Fire Station.

Sunday, February 26, 2006
1:00 PM
New Fire Station 83
4960 Balboa Boulevard
Encino, CA 91316

We are pleased to offer an interactive map and driving directions to this new facility, which is now in service and protecting the Encino area and adjacent neighborhoods of the south and central San Fernando Valley.

Following Sunday's brief dedication ceremony, there will be free food and entertainment as well as a chance to tour Southern California's newest Fire Station. All members of the community are warmly welcomed to this family-themed public event.

Please let us share a brief history of Fire Station 83...

Spurred by the 1935 opening of the Sepulveda Pass, the post-depression years saw tremendous growth in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. This growth clearly impacted members of the Los Angeles Fire Department, who responded from the seemingly distant communities of Van Nuys and Reseda across narrow and unpaved roads to an ever-increasing number of alarms in what is now known as Encino.

After the devastating floods and firestorm of 1938, and as citrus fields and packing houses slowly gave way to a grid of proper roads and housing, there was an influx of stars - and those who hoped to be, all claiming their part of life's dream in the San Fernando Valley. While Bob Hope's move to the area in 1938 sparked the interest of many, our nation - including 337 members of the LAFD were soon embroiled in the Second World War.

It was during World War II, in 1942 to be exact, that the Los Angeles Fire Department first established Engine Company 83, placing it in a makeshift building in the 16900 block of Ventura Boulevard, just east of Genesta Avenue in what was later to become the treasured open space of Encino Park.

In 1944, and with San Fernando Valley population nearing 176,000 residents, renowned singer Bing Crosby released his chart-topping tune "San Fernando Valley", causing many GI's overseas to fulfill the promise of the song and make the San Fernando Valley - and Encino - their home.

In 1948, in the midst of a post-war burst of population and industry, the citizens of Los Angeles invested $108,815 in land and building costs to move Engine Company 83 around the corner and just east to a new and more fitting home on an 8,300 square-foot lot at 5001 Balboa Boulevard.

For nearly six decades, that 5,150 square-foot single-bay Fire Station built in the early Truman presidency remained so externally appealing and well maintained that people refused to believe it predated the full arrival of General Motors in Van Nuys, the first rocket test at Rocketdyne's Santa Susana Field Lab - or the skyrocketing demands of a modern day fire service.

Former LAFD Station 83 (1948-2006)


Yet for those working inside the 58-year-old building, there was the daily struggle to properly and effectively respond to the growing emergency needs of those living in the Station's 6.57 square-mile district.

Old Fire Station 83's increasingly troublesome electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems could no longer support a modern, diverse and efficient workforce, and furthermore, the overcrowded and antiquated facility did not allow the flexibility and safety necessary to promptly serve the community.

Many of Old Fire Station 83's neighbors were known to look on in amazement as the staff at the single-bay Fire Station would scramble around the clock to move one or more vehicles when an emergency response would call for only the Engine Company or the Ambulance, merely to see the process repeated again and again as the crews returned to quarters and were dispatched to subsequent emergencies.

Because the property beneath Old Fire Station 83 was too small to support a new or revamped Fire Station, Proposition F of November 2000 has provided the community with a new 15,250 square-foot Fire Station on a one-acre lot at 4960 Balboa Boulevard - almost across the street from the Old Station.

04-26-2004 Groundbreaking for LAFD Station 83


Groundbreaking for new Fire Station 83 took place on April 26, 2004.

Built to exacting safety, seismic and efficiency standards at a combined cost of less than $7 million, New Fire Station 83 will be formally dedicated this Sunday, just 21 months after groundbreaking.

The new station houses a four-person Paramedic-Assessment Engine Company, a two-person Paramedic Rescue Ambulance and an Emergency Medical Services Battalion Captain.

The new energy efficient six-bay facility features an important "drive through" feature that prevents the need to block traffic on Balboa Boulevard when rehousing large fire apparatus.

The new station will also serve as a home base for cross-staffed specialty vehicles and support units, including a pick-up truck mounted Emergency Lighting Unit for use at major emergencies and disasters, a full-sized 4-wheel drive Brush Patrol for preventing and assisting with incidents in the adjacent Santa Monica Mountains, as well as a nimble Off-Road Micro Utility Vehicle for handling staff movement, medical emergencies and patient transport at large public events, such as the festivals held year-round at nearby Lake Balboa and the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area.

As part of LAFD's continuing commitment to disaster preparedness, new Fire Station 83 will also host one of the Department's six quick response Medical Supply Trailers, capable of providing mass-care supplies and specialized equipment at the scene of a local or regional disaster.

As Los Angeles Firefighters, we know that neighborhood safety demands community interaction. The ability of Fire Station 83 personnel to now host community functions and training events in the station's new community room will allow Neighborhood Firefighters an even closer and more productive relationship with those they proudly serve.

Once part of what Bing Crosby crooned as being in "cow country", Encino has become a populous and affluent community with many single family homes, apartment complexes, high rise offices and a burgeoning retail district.

Yes, new Fire Station 83 is a community-wide asset whose time has clearly come.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 83 and the many Fire Department facilities being modernized by Proposition F by viewing a highly detailed Monthly Progress Report which can be accessed on-line via:

www.lafd.org/propf.htm


The men and women of the LAFD look forward to seeing you and your family on Sunday, February 26 in Encino!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Performs Dramatic Crane Rescue

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On Thursday, February 23, 2006 at 10:55 AM, seven Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, 2 LAFD Helicopters, one EMS Battalion Captain, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Ralph Ramirez responded to the Helicopter Hoist Rescue of an Ill Person at 2049 Century Park East in Century City.

Firefighters arrived quickly at a construction site for a pair of twin high-rise office towers, where they were directed to the operator's compartment atop a 310-foot tall crane. According to coworkers, the 61 year-old male crane operator was complaining of chest discomfort.

Firefighters and Paramedics quickly carried a full-complement of Advanced Life Support and safety equipment more than 300 feet above ground level up a steel ladder system that was the sole means of access to the controller's compartment, and then began their full medical evaluation.

Though the man's condition was stable, he was medically precluded from descending the ladder during treatment, and the height of the controller's compartment made a ground-based litter-basket operation with Fire Department rigging a less than optimal solution. Because no one - save the patient - was certified to safely operate the crane as an alternate form of descent, a decision was quickly made to utilize LAFD Air Operations to perform a helicopter hoist evacuation.

While supportive care was offered to the patient by ground-based crews, an LAFD Bell 412-EP helicopter configured as an Air Ambulance steadily hovered nearly 100 feet above the uppermost portion of the crane. An LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic was then lowered to the patient via the helicopter's hoist system.

The patient was subsequently secured with a rescue harness and provided with an evacuation helmet before being fastened face-to-face with the helicopter-based Firefighter/Paramedic. Both were then gently lifted into the aircraft for the less than one minute flight to the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood. No injuries were reported, and no other persons required medical treatment at the scene.

(video) (video) (images) (images)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Heavy Smoke Creates Dangerous Firefighting Conditions

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 |

On Wednesday, February 22, 2006 at 2:26 PM, thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Arson Units, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one EMS Battalion Captain, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Richard Warford responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 3623 Cahuenga Boulevard West in the Cahuenga Pass/Hollywood Hills area.

Firefighters arriving on scene reported heavy smoke showing from a two-story commercial building. As Firefighters made access through the front door, they immediately reported that they had encountered heavy black smoke and high heat conditions. Due to the smoky conditions, Firefighters had difficulty locating the seat of the fire. Incident Commanders, recognizing the hazards that exist when companies encounter heavy smoke, high heat, and difficulty locating the seat of the fire, closely monitored the changing conditions. Preparations were made to effect a rapid withdrawal of all personnel should the situation warrant it.

As firefighters searched the structure in an attempt to locate the seat of the fire, fellow firefighters conducted simultaneous ventilation operations on the roof of the structure. Successful ventilation techniques combined with an aggressive search of the interior of the structure afforded Firefighters the time necessary to locate the fire and extinguish it. It took ninety-six Firefighters forty-two minutes to locate and extinguish the stubborn blaze.

Fortunately, after a thorough search of the structure, all persons were accounted for and there were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. The loss is estimated at $170,000 ($150,000 Structure and $20,000 Contents.)



Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Sludge Percolates Through Downtown Street

Monday, February 20, 2006 |

On Monday, February 20, 2006 at 3:08 AM, eight Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Rehab Unit, one Mobile Command Post, two Hazardous Materials Teams, one EMS Battalion Captain, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Richard Warford, responded to a Chemical Investigation at 1220 South Olive Street in the South Park area of Downtown Los Angeles.

Fire Department resources initially responded at 3:08 AM to investigate an unknown odor. A sewage type smell was detected, however, Firefighters were unable to locate the source of the odor. Firefighters were dispatched back to the location at 12:45 PM when residents reported a "black sludge" bubbling out of the manhole covers and from cracks in the street.

The first companies on scene reported possible sewage and heated water rising from the ground causing the street to buckle and heave. A one hundred and twenty-five foot section of Olive Street had buckled as much as one and one-half feet high. (video) (images) (video)

Upon further examination of the area, a three-story, pre-1933 unreinforced masonry apartment building appeared to be shifting on it's foundation. The 33 unit apartment building was evacuated and approximately 130 residents were assisted by the Fire Department and American Red Cross to find appropriate shelter. This evacuation will remain in effect until the building is determined safe to reoccupy by the appropriate
officials.

Tests performed by the LAFD Hazardous Materials teams were able to determine that the area was safe and no toxic or explosive hazards existed. Temperature samples taken from the sidewalks showed the ground temperature was 103 degrees.

Firefighters canvassed the area attempting to locate the source of the sludge. At this time, it is believed that an oil drilling operation, taking place two blocks away at 14th Street and Hill Street was creating underground pressure. This heated water and underground pressure is believed to have caused the sludge to escape.

During the drilling operations, heated water is injected into the ground at 1600 PSI. Believing this to be the cause of the problem, the drilling operation was shut down. After shutting down the drilling operation, the problem began to slowly subside. The incident will be further investigated by local authorities to determine the cause and assess any additional damage. Damage estimates are pending. There were no reported injuries during this incident.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Help Send Greeting To Boy's Dead Mom

Friday, February 17, 2006 |

Each and every work day, I hear from Los Angeles residents about the special "little things" that the men and women of our Department do to help our neighbors in need.

Clearly, going the extra mile to make the "magic" happen is not in the rule books, nor is it limited to members of our agency. It is therefore with great pleasure that I share a special story from our friends at The Associated Press, and offer a respectful tip o' the LAFD helmet to our colleagues at the "LFD"...

Firefighters Help Send Greeting To Boy's Dead Mom
Friday, February 17, 2006
Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. - Firefighters braved sleet, wind and freezing cold to rescue a valentine that got snagged in a tree after a boy sent it into the sky by balloon for his mother, who died of cancer last fall.

Seven-year-old Joel Enriquez had made the valentine -- a pink heart with purple heart stickers and the message "I miss you" -- for Maria Enriquez at a grief support group.

On Tuesday, the first-grader brought the valentine to his school, attached it to balloons and went outside with his 13-year-old brother and classmates to release the balloons. But as the balloons sailed up, the curly ribbon got tangled on tree branches.

Mary Rowan, the boy's English-language teacher, later told firefighters what had happened, and on Thursday, despite the cold and 20-mph wind, an aerial truck crew pulled into the playground.

Capt. Arnold Jensen climbed 40 feet climb up an extended ladder and, after a couple of attempts, grabbed the deflated balloons, cut the ribbons and brought down the valentine.

Photo of Captain Jensen by Ted Kirk


Another firefighter pulled three red balloons from the truck, helped Joel attach the valentine, and the boy released the balloons. This time, they disappeared into the clouds.

"I think she got your valentine," Rowan said, and Joel smiled.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

House Fire Claims The Life of Elderly Woman

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 |

On Tuesday, February 14, 2006 at 2:49 AM, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three Arson Units, one EMS Battalion Captain, and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Millage Peaks responded to a Structure Fire With a Civilian Fatality at 8407 South Ramsgate Avenue in Westchester.

Summoned by neighbors who were alerted to flames by a passing motorist, Firefighters arrived quickly to find a one-story single family dwelling well involved with fire.

As Firefighters began an aggressive attack on the interior of the structure, fellow Firefighters conducted coordinated ventilation operations on the roof. As Firefighters conducted their primary search of the occupancy, the body of an adult female was located within the residence. She was declared deceased at the scene. (video)

The fire was brought under control in just nineteen minutes. There were no other injuries reported.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation. A positive identification of the decedent, as well as the precise cause, manner and time of her death will be determined by the Coroner's Office.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Reported "500 Pound Military Style Bomb" Closes Freeway

Monday, February 13, 2006 |

On Monday, February 13, 2006 at 3:50 PM, seven Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Rehab Unit, three EMS Battalion Captains, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, one Mobile Command Post, and various other support staff, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Bowman responded to a reported Bomb Incident on the West Bound 210 Freeway at Roxford St. in Sylmar.

Firefighters were called to investigate a reported "500 Pound, Military Style, Aerial Bomb" which had fallen off of a truck and landed on the right side of the freeway, according to witnesses.

Upon arrival, Battalion Commander Michael Bowman immediately recognized the need for a professional evaluation of the suspicious object and requested the LAPD Bomb Squad for assistance. LAPD, in an effort to provide for the safety of the public, closed down the freeway and diverted traffic around the incident.

During the evaluation of the suspected bomb, Fire Department Incident Commanders established evacuation areas and treatment plans. In addition, Fire Department resources were pre-deployed into surrounding areas for strategic use should the need arise.

Olive View Hospital, which is located less than a half mile away, was closed to all ambulance transports until the incident was stabilized.

LAPD Bomb Squad members evaluated the object, however, they were unable to positively determine that the object was not hazardous. Military officials from the Naval Base Ventura County were requested to evaluate the object and assist with it's safe disposal.

After careful evaluation and assessment of the situation, military officials were able to determine that the device did not pose an immediate danger to the public.

Military officials, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police Department, handled the removal and disposal of the object. No injuries or damage was reported. The incident remains under investigation by Law Enforcement authorities. The incident was mitigated in slightly less than five hours.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Ambulance Involved In Crash, Three Injured

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On Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 10:36 AM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue, three EMS Battalion Captains, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Fred J. Mathis, responded to a Traffic Collision involving an LAFD Rescue Ambulance with a report of one person trapped, at West Washington Boulevard and South Jasmine Avenue in Culver City.

First units on the scene reported that LAFD Rescue Ambulance 63 had collided with a small passenger vehicle with the driver trapped and both Firefighter/Paramedics injured. The two Firefighter/Paramedics suffered back and neck injuries and were treated and transported to a local hospital in good condition. The driver of the passenger car was extricated, treated, and transported to a local hospital with non-serious back and neck injuries.

Initial reports indicate that LAFD Rescue Ambulance 63 was traveling East Bound on Washington Boulevard with all warning lights and siren activated while transporting a patient to a nearby hospital when the passenger car abruptly turned left in front of the Ambulance causing the collision. The patient in the Ambulance was uninjured.

Additional information involving this incident will be released when the investigation is completed.

The Los Angeles Fire Department and the Culver City Police Department are investigating the exact cause of the collision.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Apartment Fire Sends Four to Hospital

Saturday, February 11, 2006 |

On Saturday, February 11, 2006 at 9:50 AM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, six LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, and two EMS Battalion Captains, under the direction of Battalion Chief Timothy Kerbrat, responded to a reported Structure Fire at 1103 West 42nd Street in Exposition Park/Coliseum Area.

First units on the scene reported a two-story center hallway apartment building with fire showing from one unit on the second floor.

Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire in the involved unit and extinguished the fire in approximately eighteen minutes. The fire was confined to the involved unit.

Seven individuals (six adults and a two year old female) suffered minor smoke inhalation during their escape from the fire prior to the arrival of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Of the seven injuries, three were treated on the scene and released and four were transported to area hospitals.

No other injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is listed as the ignition of "leaking natural gas from the stove" and fire damage is estimated at $65,000 ($50,000 structure and $15,000 contents).

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Car and Metro Bus Collision Sends Six to Hospital

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On Saturday, February 11, 2006 at 8:41 AM, eight Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, eight LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Timothy Kerbrat, responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision at the intersection of West Stocker Street and South Crenshaw Boulevard in the Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills area.

First units on the scene reported a Traffic Collision between a Metro Rapid Bus and a passenger vehicle with at least forty passengers on the bus and only the driver in the passenger car. There was no entrapment.

The Incident Commander immediately requested additional resources and began assigning arriving units to a variety of duties to handle the Multi-Patient Incident including but not limited to, implementing the Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) system, scene safety (Firefighter safety/damaged power pole), crowd control (bystanders), containment of the impacted area (preventing individuals not associated with the incident from entering the crash area), establishing a treatment area for the injured (immediate, delayed and minor), setting up a communication area, and other related duties.

As result of the collision, thirteen individuals were assessed (12 from the bus and the driver of the passenger vehicle). Of the thirteen, seven were treated on the scene and released, including the driver of the Metro Bus. Six were transported to area hospitals, including the driver of the passenger car with minor injuries (neck and back).

The cause of the collision is under investigation by Metro Officials and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Early Morning Koreatown Fire Displaces Ten

Thursday, February 09, 2006 |

On Thursday, February 9, 2006 at 1:36 AM, thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, one EMS Battalion Captain, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Commander Robert Franco, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1227 South Irolo Street in Koreatown.

First units on the scene reported a two-story residential four-plex with the front exterior of the structure well involved in fire and spreading rapidly into the interior of the first and second floor units.

Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the exterior fire as it extended rapidly to the second floor balcony, the eaves, the attic, and into all four units of the four-plex. (video)

The fire was confined to the four-plex and extinguished in approximately twenty-seven minutes.

As a result of the fire and significant damage to all four apartment units, ten people were displaced. The American Red Cross was requested to assist the displaced occupants.

No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is listed as undetermined and remains under investigation. Fire damage is estimated at $230,000 ($200,000 structure and $30,000 contents).

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Man Dies in Cypress Park Motor Home Fire

Saturday, February 04, 2006 |

On Saturday, February 4, 2006 at 3:04 AM, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, five Arson Units, one EMS Battalion Captain, and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Christopher Logan responded to a Motor Home Fire with Civilian Fatality at 660 North San Fernando Road in Cypress Park.

First Units on the scene reported a Trailer Park with one Motor Home in space #20, well involved with fire and exposing a shed and two other Motor Homes in the "AAA Trailer Home Estates".

Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire and confined the fire to the twenty-foot Motor Home with minor damage to two other Motor Homes and a shed and extinguished the fire in fifteen minutes.

After the fire was extinguished, the body of a male adult was found inside the Motor Home and declared dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is listed as under investigation.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Car Crash Into Medical Clinic Injures Thirteen

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On Friday, February 3, 2006 at 9:53 AM, fourteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, eleven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Hazardous Materials Team, one LAFD Helicopter, three EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team and other support units under the direction of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas responded to the report of a car into a structure at 8301 South Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles.

The first EMS Battalion Captain on the scene reported a three story structure with apartments over a medical clinic and that a car had crashed through the front door of the clinic and was completely inside "Clinica Salvador Del Mundo".

Arriving units were immediately assigned a variety of duties to deal with the Multi-Patient incident including scene safety (leaking fuel from the vehicle and downed power lines energizing a guide wire to a power pole), crowd control of a large number of bystanders, containment of the impacted area, triage and medical communication, establishing a treatment area for the injured (immediate, delayed and minor), removal of patients from the impacted area, implementing the Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) system, and other related duties designated by the Incident Commander.

The Department of Water and Power was immediately requested to abate the electrical hazard and Firefighters set up protection lines and Dry Chemical Extinguishers to handle the small fuel leak.

Due to the violent impact of the vehicle into the structure, the Department of Building and Safety and LAFD Urban Search and Rescue teams were dispatched to assess the integrity of the building. (images)

As a result of the crash there were a total of thirteen injuries (12 in the medical clinic and the driver of the vehicle), six Immediate, two Delayed, and two Minor injuries (including the driver).

All ten were transported to five area hospitals. Three others were treated on the scene and released. Firefighters and Paramedics were able to control the incident in approximately fifteen minutes.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investing the cause of the crash.

UPDATE: The LAPD later issued a Press Release regarding this incident, as well as a recording of the initial 9-1-1 call to LAFD Firefighter/Dispatchers.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Groundbreaking for new Fire Station in Palms

Friday, February 03, 2006 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department warmly welcome you to join civic and community leaders, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Herb Wesson, City Engineer Gary Moore, Board of Public Works Commissioner Valerie Shaw, Fire Commission President Dalila Sotelo and Fire Chief William Bamattre at the groundbreaking ceremony for new City of Los Angeles Fire Station 43 in Palms.

Monday, February 6, 2006
9:30AM
Groundbreaking Site for New Fire Station 43
3690 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034

We are pleased to offer an interactive map and personalized driving directions to the groundbreaking site.

Housing an Engine Company and Paramedic Rescue Ambulance, and protecting a 4.3 square-mile district centered in the west Los Angeles community of Palms, new Fire Station 43 will replace a cramped and inefficient facility on National Boulevard that opened in 1942.

Station 43 crew in 1942 just after facility opened. Click this image for more information...


Current Fire Station 43 was designed prior to World War II and built on a 100' x 103' lot at a cost of $35,000, when the district was mainly residential. Due to significant development, the area now has commercial, industrial, large multi-story apartments, and filming industries.

The sixty-four year old current facility has been deemed deficient in meeting seismic safety, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, Building Code, ADA and separate gender accommodation issues.

In fact, when built, the first crew assigned to the current station (some of whom joined the LAFD in 1922) boasted of working in one of the few Fire Stations heated by the modern marvel of "air forced across hot water pipes from a 200 gallon storage tank".

Current LAFD Station 43 in Palms.


LAFD operational advances in the past six decades now make that 4,885 square-foot station and only slightly larger parcel of land inadequate for providing timely and effective response to the community's needs.

New Fire Station 43, which will include a special meeting room for use by the community, will be an efficient and appealing long-term asset for all who live, work and visit the Palms area of Los Angeles.

The new energy-efficient 15,250 square foot facility will be built on a one acre site. It has been designed to support multi-role emergency response needs while bringing efficiency to LAFD's workforce - and therefore convenience and enhanced service to a vibrant neighborhood that we've been long proud to be a part of.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 43 and the many Fire Department facilities being modernized by Proposition F by viewing a highly detailed on-line Monthly Progress Report.

We look forward to seeing you in Palms for this groundbreaking ceremony on Monday morning, February 6!

UPDATE: Groundbreaking photos and slideshow are now available.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Barricaded Suspect Torches Apartment

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On Friday, February 3, 2006 at 2:27 AM, eighteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, six LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, two Hazardous Materials Teams, one EMS Battalion Captain, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Assistant Chief John Ware responded to a Barricaded Suspect/Structure Fire at 1260 S. Veteran Ave. in Westwood.

Los Angeles Police requested the LAFD to stand by during SWAT operations on a barricaded suspect. Firefighters responded to the LAPD command post and were briefed on the situation. A suspect had barricaded himself inside one unit, on the second floor of a four-story garden-style apartment building. The residents of the building had been evacuated and a SWAT operation was underway. Upon the arrival of Firefighters, smoke began emitting from the suspects unit and additional Fire companies were requested.

Firefighters, wearing body armor and with police assistance were strategically positioned throughout the building, prepared to protect the surrounding units. Los Angeles Police Officers were negotiating with the individual when the suspect apparently bolted from the unit, becoming mobile within the building. The LAFD Command Post, to protect the Firefighters on scene, immediately issued an "Emergency Traffic" broadcast to all units on the scene. Fortunately, the suspect was quickly apprehended by LAPD officers.

Firefighters were able to quickly control the fire and limit the damage to the unit involved. The suspect was transported to UCLA Medical Center for evaluation. Several Police Officers were evaluated by Paramedics at the scene for minor smoke related complaints, however, none were transported. After the scene was secured and the fire extinguished, residents were allowed to return home. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The dollar loss is still being tabulated.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Celebrates 120 Years of Service

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 |

Today, the Los Angeles Fire Department proudly celebrates it's 120th Anniversary.

In researching ways to share the collective and contemporary pride of the men and women of our Department, we came across the writings of an Iowan who joined the LAFD during The Great Depression and rose to become its leader.

In an instant, we realized that his passionate words, uttered nearly 45 years ago, still resonated strongly, and were worthy of sharing with you on this special day.

The following is the text of a March 8, 1961 address given by William L. Miller, Chief Engineer of the Los Angeles Fire Department at the Biltmore Hotel on the proud occasion of LAFD's Diamond Jubilee Celebration, marking the Department's 75th anniversary.




"The year 1886 - seventy-five years ago, was a period of great advancement for the City of Los Angeles. Los Angeles had been an incorporated city under laws of the State of California for 36 years. It had a population of some 35,000, with three good hotels, 27 churches, an adequate number of saloons and 350 telephone subscribers. Main, Spring, Fort and Hill Streets were paved that year, and the street car system was double-tracked.

A new City Hall had just been occupied at the corner of Second and Spring Streets, which was previously the site of the first public school.

The City Fathers determined that it was high time to have an organized and paid Fire Department to replace, in part, the volunteer fire companies that had served on an intermittent basis since 1869, with apparatus provided principally by public subscriptions.

In December 1885, Mayor E.F. Spence signed Ordinance No.205, authorizing the creation of a Board of Fire Commissioners, with power to make all necessary arrangements and do and perform all acts necessary to manage the Fire Department constituted by this ordinance.

The ordinance directed that the department consist of a Chief Engineer, two steamer companies, one hook and ladder company and three hose companies. Two of the hose companies were to remain as volunteer companies.

The Board of Fire Commissioners, consisting of Mayor Spence as ex-officio President and Councilmen H. Sinsabaugh and J. Kuhrts, came into existence on January 18, 1886, in the City Council Chamber of the new City Hall. There the members took their oath of office, elected Walter S. Moore as their secretary, and adjourned, subject to the call of the President.

Three days later the Commissioners again convened. At their second meeting they formally notified the City Council that they were ready to proceed, and requested the Council to elect a Chief Engineer. They adopted the first rules and regulations for the Fire Department, providing among other things - that every member of the department be at least 21 years of age;

- a citizen of the United States;
- a permanent resident of the City of Los Angeles;
- and able to converse understandably in the English language.

Rule No.18 ordered that engine, hose, and hook and ladder drivers not drive out of a trot in going to or returning from fires and alarms and that racing be strictly prohibited.

The Commission on January 28 directed Commissioner Kuhrts to buy five tons of hay, 40 sacks of rolled barley and six sacks of bran. Thus the Fire Department was staffed, provisioned and in operation on February 1, 1886, with stations and apparatus taken over from the old volunteer companies.

Also effective February 1, 1886 Walter Moore became Chief Engineer of Los Angeles' first paid Fire Department.

On April 19, the Board recommended the purchase of a wagon - not to exceed $185 - for transportation of the Chief Engineer. By order of June 14, the first inspection of the department was set for 9 A.M., July 5. On December 13, it was decreed that the fire bell be placed on the First Street hill.

Remembrances of events that transpired 75 years ago are important, for from such beginnings of a fire service for a little city than spanned some 30 square miles, there has grown the Los Angeles Fire Department of today (1961), protecting the lives and possessions of 2 1/2 million people; inhabiting a metropolis of some 459 square miles.

To night we celebrate 75 years of progress of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Because of its protection our loved ones, our homes and our businesses are safer from the ravages of fire, explosion and panic.

There are those present who have in a few short years seen this city grow from a sprawling country town to the nation's largest city in area, rapidly approaching second in population and for decades the most colorful and progressive.

We have seen its orchards and grain fields transformed into great industrial complexes and subdivisions; its swamp lands converted into airfields and harbor facilities, ranking among the busiest and best in the world.

We have seen the development of great communications, transportation and industrial systems; a vast network of highways; a water and power supply from the high Sierras and the Colorado River; public utilities and public works without parallel.

Each of these great developments has brought to our city its inherent hazards. Because of adequate fire protection, continued progress in all these fields has been and is possible. Without adequate fire protection, our civilization would destroy itself, for each day it creates new hazards with new discoveries and new processes.

In these 74 years our city's population has multiplied over 70 times. This virtual explosion in population has required hundreds of additional schools; hundreds of thousands more homes, tens of thousands new businesses, great factories, research facilities, hospitals and entertainment centers. It has demanded fantastic increases in fire protection. In short the challenge to the Fire Department has been unprecedented. Our current five-year expansion program exceeds all combined efforts in the Department's history.

Citizens of Los Angeles have made possible the excellent fire fighting facilities of today. City officials, civic leaders, the press and the electorate have consistently supported efforts of the Fire Department to meet its challenges. They have never been willing to accept second-class protection for their lives and their property.

The story of progress in fire protection parallels the city's growth. In the early Pueblo of Los Angeles, the fire engine was drawn by hand, until horses were provided. The gasoline engine, replacing the horse, marked a great new era in our civilization. From the protection of a few small adobe buildings in a rural village, we have rocketed into the age of space; into a world of nuclear power; into a complex of scientific developments - that can spell progress - when controlled, or disaster if not controlled.

Today the fire fighting forces of our city stand in bold contrast to the humble beginning of the early pueblo. Three powerful fire boats - manned by Firemen trained in shipboard and waterfront fire fighting - protect our city's 35 miles of ocean frontage, its acres of wharves, docks and piers, with additional millions of dollar value in ships and cargoes going to and from all parts of the world.

But - a few months ago a great fire at one of the piers threatened the very existence of our vital harbor. Only through excellent tactics, highly trained manpower and the best fire fighting equipment was the holocaust held to the pier of origin.

In recent years, multiple alarm fires have occurred in ocean liners, tankers and flammable liquid tank farms within our harbor. Each time the damage has been confined to the area or vessel of origin and the harbor has been saved from total destruction. Each success proved the value and economy of maintaining a first-class fire fighting force.

At our municipal airports - expertly trained crash crews man the most powerful and specialized aircraft crash fire fighting engines in existence; protecting the entry and exit of 6 1/2 million air passengers each year.

In addition, conventional crews and fire engines protect aircraft, manufacturing and allied facilities of these leading air terminals of the world. Crash crews of the Los Angeles Fire Department have an enviable record in assisting safe landings of aircraft in trouble.

Los Angeles is the only major city having specially organized forces of trained men and specialized equipment to combat brush fires. The City of Los Angeles has one of the largest trained forces of brush fire fighters in the United States.

Historically, conflagrations in cities frequently come from uncontrolled brush fires entering the city proper. It is well known to most of you, that in spite of the fastest burning ground cover in the nation, and with hundreds of incipient fires in the city each year, none has ever reached conflagration proportions. None has ever penetrated beyond the fringe areas of mountain dwellings. Each year my office receives hundreds of letters of praise for the excellent work of our firemen in saving homes and lives during these fasting moving fires.

Throughout this great city a hundred stations house 3,000 of the world's finest Firemen and what will soon be the most modern fleet of fire engines in existence anywhere.

What kind of men are these firemen?

First, they are selected only through competitive examination; with requirements so rigid that but a handful of each thousand applicants ever gains admittance.

Our Firemen are community leaders in churches, Red Cross, professional groups, PTA, Chambers of Commerce, service clubs, Scouting, Woodcraft and youth work throughout the city.

Our ranks include many members with college degrees in the fields of public administration, law and the sciences.

Firemen are good neighbors, family men, home-loving citizens - doing their bit in every-day life to build a greater Los Angeles.

In their profession they have no equal. Los Angeles is the largest major city to have a class one fire department. This distinction and excellence has been recognized for 14 years by the National Board of Fire Underwriters and the Pacific Fire Rating Bureau, which through repeated reductions in fire insurance rates, have saved Los Angeles property owners millions of dollars in premiums.

Even more significant is the record of life safety. If the United States, as a whole, enjoyed the same degree of fire safety as do the citizens of Los Angeles, over 7,700 persons (including 1,200 children) who died in fires last year would be alive today. Likewise, over 75,000 maimed and injured in fires last year would have been spared.

Members of the Fire Fighting Profession, throughout the world, come to our door to participate in training; to study fire prevention methods, organization, tactics and equipment. Our most recent student is from Saudi-Arabia. Each year we train special classes of Firemen from both industry and government. Our manuals and training films are used around the globe.

Many members of the Los Angeles Fire Department serve on local, State and National committees in the field for fire protection legislation.

In the field of physical fitness, we have the most comprehensive program of any major fire department. In many types of athletics our members are in national championship class. Our most recent honors were won in the Winter Olympics at Snow Valley.

Among you tonight are many of these highly trained, dedicated, professional firemen and their wives. They are a part of the force of over 3,000 who guard your lives and property every day and every night of the year. As the Chief of your Fire Department, I humbly accept the great privilege of commending them to you as members of this Class One Fire Department and as citizens of your communities - dedicated to the saving of lives and property.

No commendation would be complete or just without mention of the wives of our Firemen, who also have joined with us tonight in this celebration. As in all great professions, to them goes much of the honor for the accomplishments of their men. It is they - who know the anxiety, the heartaches and sacrifices that so often go unnoticed. It is they - who know the need for courage and faith when roaring flames engulf our mountains, or great structures, or when a Fireman must go through literal hell to save a life from fire.

At my invitation tonight, a Fireman's wife has come from her husband's bedside in Central Receiving Hospital. With 70 percent of his body severely burned when trapped in a fire, on the night of January 17, Fireman Tom Morse has since hovered between life and death. Medical science and the Central Receiving Hospital are doing everything possible to heal his injuries and to relieve his pain. His wife and three little daughters - and 3,000 Firemen and their wives - are hoping, praying and waiting for the day that Tom and Daddy is able to come home.

To the wives of Firemen here--and to the wives of those on duty throughout the city tonight, and the nights to come--I extend the humble gratitude of your men.

Also in our gathering tonight are many retired men from our Department, who have given the cream of their lives for the safety of our citizens. To you, retired men--I extend our thanks for establishing a sound foundation and a firm base from which we could progress. Without your fine examples and your dedication to duty, the Los Angeles Fire Department would not enjoy the fine reputation that it does.

The challenges of the future are great. We have faith that our citizens will continue to support an adequate fire fighting force--which must grow--as the city grows.

We accept the challenges of the age of electronics, nuclear power, space engines and automation. We stand firm in our resolution to insure that progress, with effective protection. Nor shall we, in the face of all that is material, ever forget that our dedication to the saving of human life is the first and foremost of our duties.

To Your Honor, Mayor Poulson, Members of the City Council and Fire Commission--my thanks for your great assistance in our daily work.

To my contemporaries in other City Department's gratitude for your confidence and continued support.

To all - we pledge a progressive Fire Department, trained and qualified to meet the challenges in the years ahead."




Three days after Chief Enginer Miller delivered this address, our Brother Tom Morse lost his nearly two month battle from severe and painful burns he suffered battling a Crenshaw area blaze.

Just eight months later, Miller would command legions of Firemen battling the most devestating conflagration in Los Angeles history.

Though Miller's words were offered mere weeks after John F. Kennedy entered the White House, the values and commitment of those who served beneath him is strongly echoed today in the men and women who proudly wear the LAFD badge.

And while the specter of Cuban Missles has given way to Weapons of Mass Destruction; the pride, readiness and commitment of Los Angeles Firefighters is as solid today as it was during the tenure of Chief Engineers Moore and Miller.

Furthermore, to a person, the men and women who proudly serve you today are willing, like Fireman Tom Morse, to do whatever it takes, at any time of any day, to keep you and your family safe.

That's been our pledge for 120 years, and thankfully there are some things that never change.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department