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Groundbreaking For New Fire Station in South LA

Friday, March 31, 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 Jan Perry and Fire Chief William Bamattre at the groundbreaking ceremony for new City of Los Angeles Fire Station 21 in South Los Angeles.

Monday, April 3, 2006
10:00 AM
Groundbreaking Site for New Fire Station 21
1192 East 51st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90011

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

All members of the community are warmly welcomed to join us for this traditional public event.

Fire Station 21 serves a 2.07 square-mile area that was largely rural when the current station seen below, built in 1941, replaced a facility destroyed in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.

Current Station 21 nearly a year after opening


The now sixty-five year old building at 1187 East 52nd Street is cramped and highly inefficient and has proven deficient in meeting today's seismic safety, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, Building Code, ADA and separate gender accommodation issues.

The area has changed greatly to become a highly populated district that includes industrial areas as well as the busy Metro Blue Line & Alameda Rail Corridor to the Port of Los Angeles.

LAFD Station 21 today


The current station, constructed prior to World War II, houses an Engine Company and a Rescue Ambulance staffed by 4 Firefighters and 2 Paramedics. The 4,305 square-feet building has become clearly overcrowded and the structure's main systems are demonstrably antiquated.

New Fire Station 21 will be built just north of the current station. A highly efficient and appealing long-term asset for all members of the community, the new facility includes the purchase of approximately 2 acres with the construction of a new 15,150 square-foot Regional Station that feature a drivethrough heavy apparatus bay to facilitate the entry and exit of the emergency vehicles, a 5,250 square-foot apparatus storage building, and a 2,500 square-foot multi-purpose room.

The new facilities are designed to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which recognizes high performance sustainable buildings.

The project also includes the conversion of the old fire station into a multipurpose building. Construction of new Fire Station 21 will be handled by the R.J. Daum Construction Company and is expected to be completed in late 2007.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 21 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 South Los Angeles for this groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, April 3!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAUSD Officer Injured in Traffic Accident

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 |

On Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 9:38 PM, three Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two EMS Battalion Captains, and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Patrick Engel responded to a Traffic Accident at Nordoff Street and Tampa Avenue in Northridge.

Firefighters from Engine 70 arrived to find a minor, two vehicle traffic accident in the intersection and began assessing two individuals for minor injuries. A Los Angeles Unified School Police Officer arrived on scene and positioned his vehicle in a defensive position to shield those on scene from oncoming traffic. Approximately 10 minutes later, a small pickup truck carrying three people proceeded northbound on Tampa Avenue through the intersection at a high rate of speed, slamming into the Patrol Car, causing the Patrol Car to careen into the Los Angeles Unified School Police Officer.

The FIrefighters already on scene were immediately confronted with a Multi-Casualty incident requiring immediate action on their part. The Officer who was out of his car investigating the original traffic accident was struck by the automobiles causing critical injuries, including fractured legs and internal injuries. In addition, three others in the truck, which had struck the officers car were injured, two of these critically. As patients were being assessed and treated, additional Paramedic Ambulances and Fire Companies were requested.

In all, six patients were assessed on scene. The LAUSD Officer suffered critical injuries and was transported to Northridge Hospital. One patient from the pickup truck suffered serious injuries and was transported to Northridge Hospital. Two other patients in the truck, including one who was partially ejected through the windshield, sustained critical injuries and were transported to Providence Holy Cross Hospital. The two patients from the original traffic accident were assessed on the scene and released. The cause of both accidents are under investigation by Law Enforcement Authorities.

(video)

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Kills Man Sleeping in Los Angeles Garage

Monday, March 27, 2006 |

On Monday, March 27, 2006 at 1:33 AM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Arson Investigation Units, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Arguelles responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 3916 South La Salle Avenue in the Exposition Park/Coliseum Area.

Firefighters arrived quickly to be confronted with heavy fire from a detached garage to the rear of an apartment building, with flames extending to a pair of residential structures nearby.

Firefighters briskly extended handlines to skillfully extinguish the blaze in less than eleven minutes. Though Firefighters were able to severely limit damage to homes immediately to the south and east, the garage was largely consumed by flames.

During their exhaustive search of the burnt building, Firefighters disassembling the panelized garage door found the remains of an approximately sixty year-old male within the vehicle-free space.

According to witnesses, the homeless man, known only vaguely in the neighborhood, had been given permission to sleep within the structure as needed.

No evidence of a Smoke Alarm or Fire Sprinklers were discovered in the structure, which was neither heavily furnished or modified for residency. There were no security bars or other obvious impairments to egress.

According to veteran LAFD Battalion Chief Michael Arguelles "Though a Smoke Alarm would not normally be expected in such a structure, one was very much needed" adding "Wherever you sleep, even briefly, you need the silent sentinel of a Smoke Alarm to protect you".

Monetary loss from the blaze is estimated at $60,000 ($40,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The fire's cause remains under active investigation.

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.

(video)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Zamboni Fumes Sicken Ice Skaters in Van Nuys

Sunday, March 26, 2006 |

On Saturday, March 25, 2006 at 4:44 PM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Hazardous Materials Team, three EMS Battalion Captains, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Robert M. Rose, responded to a HAZ MAT incident at 14318 West Calvert Street in the Van Nuys area.

First units on the scene reported approximately thirty-five individuals standing outside of the "Iceland Skating Rink" vomiting and complaining of nausea.

Further investigation by Firefighters from the Hazardous Materials Squad revealed that the individuals had been exposed to an elevated level of carbon monoxide emitted from a malfunctioning "Zamboni" ice resurfacing vehicle, inside the building.

As a result of the exposure, two females, ages ten and fifteen were transported to a local hospital for observation.

Firefighters ventilated the structure and turned the building over to the manager. It took Firefighters approximately sixteen minutes to control the incident and there were no Firefighter injuries.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Strikes Hancock Park Office Building

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On Saturday, March 25, 2006 at 8:23 PM, twenty Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, ten LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, three EMS Battalion Captains, seven Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief John Ware responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 3625 West 6th Street in the Hancock Park area.

First units on the scene reported a three-story office building with heavy smoke showing from the third floor. Forcing entry into the structure and taking handlines aloft, Firefighters encountered heavy smoke on the second floor.

On the reported fire floor, Firefighters were immediately confronted with an extraordinary amount of dense smoke and were unable to locate the seat of the fire after searching for a considerable amount of time.

As Firefighters continued to survey the exterior of the building, they discovered that the building was three stories in the front and two stories in the rear. The fire was located on the second floor of the two story portion of the building.

Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire and extinguished it in approximately thirty-eight minutes. Due to the large volume of fire on the fire floor, Department of Building and Safety Inspectors were requested to inspect the integrity of the building's second floor.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation. Fire damage is still being tabulated.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LA Fire Department Assures Safety of Protesters

Saturday, March 25, 2006 |

On Saturday, March 25, 2006, at 9:07 a.m., thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, twenty LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Deputy Chief, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, four Battalion EMS Captains, a number of Fire Inspectors, two Helicopters for observation, and other LAFD resources under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda were dispatched and operated under a unified command with the Los Angeles Police Department and other Local, State and Federal Agencies, to provide assistance to protesters during a march that started approximately two miles south of downtown Los Angeles on Olympic Boulevard terminating at Los Angeles City Hall.

The protestors proceeded from various locations to Los Angeles City Hall's South Lawn and it is estimated by Police that more than "500,000" individuals participated in the march.

Over one hundred and twenty Los Angeles Firefighters and Paramedics were located along the protest route to City Hall and at City Hall as a pro-active measure to assist protesters and organizers with any medical emergencies that may arise, help marchers safely reach their destination and leave the impacted area without incident.

A minor scuffle broke out between opposing groups, but the situation was quickly brought under control by the Los Angeles Police Department.

As the otherwise peaceful event progressed throughout the afternoon and the impacted area expanded, the Los Angeles Fire Department assisted five to ten individuals with medical needs ranging from difficult respirations to minor physical injuries; none of the injuries were reported to be life threatening.

The exact number of people treated and/or transported is still being tabulated. The event concluded in approximately seven hours and thirty-six minutes and there were no Firefighter injuries.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

L.A. Marathon Claims Lives of Retired Deputy and Off Duty LAPD Officer

Sunday, March 19, 2006 |

On Saturday, March 19, 2006 beginning at 4:42 AM, twenty-one Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, twenty-four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, six Bicycle Paramedic teams, three "Gator" teams (6 wheel ATV's with 2 Paramedics), one Arson Unit, two Hazardous Materials Teams, eleven EMS Battalion Captains, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, the LAFD Medical Advisor, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, and a variety of addition support staff, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis were pre-deployed along the Los Angeles Marathon route.

The Los Angeles Fire Department, in conjunction with other City agencies, volunteers, and event organizers spent a significant amount of time preplanning the various aspects of the 21st Annual Los Angeles Marathon. A Unified Command with LAPD and LAFD command staff was implemented and strategically positioned at the City's "Piper Tech" facility. A Forward Command Post was placed at the Bonaventure Hotel to assist in overall management of the incident. Under the Forward Command post, Divisions, Branches, and Groups were established to handle various aspects of the incident.

In an effort to provide rapid Paramedic intervention during a medical emergency, the LAFD deployed six Bicycle Paramedic Teams and three "Gator" Teams. The "Gator" Teams consisted of two Paramedics operating a six-wheeled All Terrain Vehicle. The "Gator" was outfitted with Advanced Life Support tools, a stretcher, and other necessary equipment. The size and configuration of the Bicycle Paramedic Teams, and the "Gator" teams provided paramedics the opportunity to navigate crowds, circumvent traffic, and deliver critical patient care faster.

Throughout the day and all along the twenty-six mile route, seventy-five patients were treated by Fire Department personnel for various medical problems including, heat and exhaustion complaints, musculoskeletal injuries, and other medical problems. Of the seventy-five patients treated, thirty were transported to local hospitals for further medical evaluation. Unfortunately, three runners did suffer a sudden cardiac arrest during the run. Regretfully, two of the runners did loose their lives during this event.

At 8:30 AM, at mile marker one, 15th Street and Figueroa Street, a 70 year-old male runner suffered a full cardiac arrest. Fortunately, personnel from the Los Angeles Convention center were able to immediately utilize a Public AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) on the patient, delivering one shock to the patients heart. Paramedics arrived immediately, continued CPR, provided Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and transported to California Medical Center. The patient was subsequently admitted to the hospital and is listed in critical condition.

At 9:00 AM, at approximately mile marker one, Exposition Boulevard and Figueroa Street, a 60 year-old male runner and retired Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy, suffered a full cardiac arrest. Paramedics immediately began CPR and provided immediate Advance Cardiac Life Support. The patient was transported to California Medical Center where the patient was pronounced dead by hospital personnel.

At 1:30 P.M., at approximately mile marker twenty-four, Olympic Boulevard and Westmoreland Avenue, a 53 year-old male and an "active member" of the Los Angeles Police Department, suffered a full cardiac arrest. The LAFD Medical Advisor arrived first on scene and immediately began administering advanced airway support and directed on scene medical procedures.

Firefighters and Paramedics, pre-deployed along the Marathon route, provided immediate Advanced Cardiac Life Support and rapid transport to Good Samaritan Hospital. Unfortunately, the Paramedics and Hospital staff were unable to revive the Officer and he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Submitted By Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Bicyclist Collides with Train in South Los Angeles

Friday, March 17, 2006 |

Shortly after 5:30 PM this evening, a male believed to be in his 30's sustained critical head injuries near the intersection of Long Beach Boulevard and 55th Street in South Los Angeles when - according to witnesses, he rode his bicycle into the path of a southbound Metro Blue Line train near a signalized grade crossing.

No other injuries were reported.

Though the cause of this collision remains under investigation by Los Angeles Police and Sheriff's Department officials, it gives us an opportunity to share the important message of Operation Lifesaver.

We strongly encourage you to take a look at Operation Lifesaver's educational materials, especially those focused on kids and light rail systems.

Whenever you are near a railroad track: Look, Listen and Live!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

City of Los Angeles Muni-Bloggers Make Their Mark

Thursday, March 16, 2006 |

Though our work can't compare to the Metroblogging empire, nor does it hold a candle to the Gothamist network, a number of City of Los Angeles employees are now using blogs to spread the official word of their agency's endeavors.

As recently highlighted by tech savvy Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, the roster of "LA City Bloggers" has recently expanded.

Along with offerings by the Council President and Los Angeles Fire Department, the City blogscape now includes the Department of Recreation and Parks as well as the Department of Animal Services.

We thank Council President Garcetti for his kind words regarding LAFD's sophomoric effort, and express our admiration for his website, which offers Muni-Bloggers© a superb template for incorporating the timely content and syndication features of a blog within an official government web page.

Stay tuned we say, the best is yet to come!

May 12, 2006 UPDATE: The Los Angeles Police Department joins the blogosphere!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Northridge HazMat Investigation Proves False Alarm

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 |

On Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 4:04 PM, three Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Robert Rose responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 8500 Balboa Boulevard in Northridge.

Dispatched to an unknown and apparently out of place substance that caused concern to one or more employees at an industrial firm, Los Angeles Fire Department Hazardous Materials experts determined the substance to be a common kitchen staple.

There were no injuries or formal evacuations. Following the joint Police and Fire Department operation, the location was returned to the control of business owners.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Assists with Multi-Patient Collision in Culver City

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On Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 2:54 PM, two Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, seven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three EMS Battalion Captains, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and one Division Chief Officer Command Team as well as Medical Advisor Marc Eckstein MD, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Donald Austin responded in Mutual Aid to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision near 8522 West National Boulevard in Culver City.

The Los Angeles Fire Department established Joint Command with the Culver City Fire Department, while LAFD personnel assisted in the triage, treatment and transportation of seven pre-to-young teenage patients. One adult female was declared deceased at the scene.

The Culver City Police Department will be handling the investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Assists Police With Barricaded Suspect in Exposition Park

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On Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 9:19 PM, thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two EMS Battalion Captains, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Timothy Kerbrat responded to a Barricaded Suspect at 33rd Street and Grand Avenue in the Exposition Park area.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was requested by the LAPD to stand by during a barricaded suspect situation. Police negotiators were attempting to deal with a twenty-nine year old male who had barricaded himself in one unit of a residential four-plex, shot at police and threatened to set himself on fire. The suspect indicated that he was prepared to remove a natural gas line within the building and ignite the building on fire.

Incident Commanders prepared for the possible conflagration by implementing various aspects of the ICS (Incident Command System). A "Structure Protection Group" and a "Medical Group" were established during the preparation phase of the incident. Various Fire and Medical resources were assigned to each group and deployed to staging areas that would provide the most optimal response for that particular groups function.

In addition to preparing Fire Department resources, Incident Commanders requested assistance from other agencies, including DOT (Department of Transportation) and the Southern California Gas Company. The building inventory records maintained by the local Fire Station were analyzed to prepare the best plans possible to mitigate the situation should a fire occur.

LAPD SWAT Officers were able to successfully subdue and remove the suspect from the building prior to any conflagration occurring. The suspect exited the building after tear gas was introduced into the structure. The suspect was combative and was subdued by SWAT officers and a Police Dog. The man was taken into custody at midnight and Fire Department resources were released from the incident.

Fortunately, the incident concluded without damage to any structures or injuries. The suspect suffered a small dog bite and was transported by Fire Department ambulance to a local hospital for evaluation. In all, eighty-four Firefighters and Paramedics were deployed for three and a half hours, prepared to control any situation that may have occurred.

Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Woodland Hills Fire Damages Apartment Complex

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 |

On Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 7:18 AM, twelve Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief John Duca responded to a Structure Fire at 20500 West Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills/Warner Center.

Firefighters arrived to find a 3-story, center hall apartment complex, over parking, with heavy smoke and fire showing from one unit on the second floor. Firefighters quickly made access to the fire floor and began a coordinated attack on the one unit engulfed in fire. The unit involved, a bi-level apartment unit, sustained significant fire damage. In addition, several adjacent apartments did suffer some smoke and water damage as a result of this fire.

Three occupants of the apartment unit were able to escape, however, all three were transported to area hospitals complaining of minor smoke inhalation. None of the injuries are considered to be life threatening. The dollar loss is estimated at $165,000 ($125,000 Structure and $40,000 Contents). The cause of the fire is still under investigation.



Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Multiple Deaths in Fiery Sylmar Collision

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On Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:59 PM, two Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance and one EMS Battalion Captain responded to a Traffic Collision with Fire and Multiple Civilian Fatalities on the Southbound Golden State Freeway North of the Foothill Freeway in Sylmar.

Firefighters arrived quickly along with California Highway Patrol Officers to discover two or more vehicles involved in a collision and remaining in traffic lanes.

One of the vehicles, a compact coupe, was fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters briskly tackled the fire, and in doing so, discovered the charred remains of as many as three persons within the one burnt car. Their age, gender and affiliation could not be immediately determined.

The 22 year-old female driver of another vehicle was briefly assessed for left-wrist injuries, but declined treatment or transportation. Occupants of a possible third vehicle were not encountered by Firefighters.

No other injuries were reported.

Firefighters remained at the scene for nearly an hour to assist the California Highway Patrol, and later returned to assist the Coroner's Office with the dolorous ninety-minute task of disentangling remains from the wreckage in a discrete and dignified manner.

The California Highway Patrol will be handling the collision investigation, while officials from the Coroner's Office will seek to positively identify the deceased as well as determine the exact cause, time and manner of their death.

(video) (images)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Tame Swift Moving Flames at Tarzana Hospital

Monday, March 13, 2006 |

On Monday, March 13, 2006 at 10:19 PM, eight Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief James Gaffney responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 18321 Clark Street in Tarzana.

Firefighters arrived promptly at the Tarzana Campus of the Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, where they were directed by security staff to an alarm condition and reports of smoke in a non-occupied second-floor surgical center in the northeast corner of the expansive multi-story medical facility.

Securing access, identifying egress and remaining at all times cognizant of smoke control issues that might effect patients, Firefighters deployed quickly to the seat of the fire within a 12' x 18' supply room adjacent to surgical suites.

Using a pre-connected and free-flowing firefighting hose line earlier and appropriately abandoned by a hospital staff member in the face of thick smoke and advancing flames, Firefighters skilfully used that water stream to quench the swift moving fire.

The fire was confined to the room of origin and extinguished in just twenty-three minutes. Aggressive and well-coordinated firefighting efforts localized the fire, assuring minimal overall impact to the hospital.

There were no injuries.

Firefighters subsequently worked with hospital staff to secure additional doors and ventilation systems in a sequential fashion, and then to systematically restore and utilize them along with LAFD power ventilation equipment to fully clear both the two-story surgical wing and the adjacent six-story patient care tower of residual or wayward smoke.

Though the Fire Department did not order any specific evacuation of the 220-bed facility, hospital staff took the initiative to remove more than a dozen patients from the Emergency Department into the adjacent parking lot, where they were offered supportive care and warming measures prior to being returned to the facility.

Battalion Chief James Gaffney, a 28-year LAFD veteran, was quick to praise hospital staff for their "organized and methodical" efforts that stemmed the spread of both smoke and fire while keeping patient safety a prime concern.

Loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of this late-night blaze remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Structure Fire With Civilian Fatality

Sunday, March 12, 2006 |

On Sunday, March 12, 2006 at 8:47 PM, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three Arson Units, one EMS Battalion Captain, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team all under the direction of Battalion Chief Joseph Castro responded to a Structure Fire With a Civilian Fatality at 3854 South Walton Ave. in the Exposition Park area.

Dispatchers received a 911 call frantically requesting help. The called stated that the house was on fire and there was someone trapped inside. Firefighters arrived in less than four minutes to find a 1664 square foot, single family home with heavy smoke showing. Bystanders on the scene immediately conveyed the information regarding the trapped person to Firefighters. Firefighters mounted an aggressive interior fire attack as fellow firefighters conducted simultaneous search and rescue operations to locate any individuals which may still be trapped inside the structure.

During the initial search of the structure, firefighters did locate a female, approximately sixty years old, who had perished inside the structure. The fire was knocked down in eleven minutes and confined primarily to one room of the structure. Incident Commanders did request the CRT (Crisis Response Team) to respond to the location, to assist the family in dealing with this tragedy.

Fortunately, there were no other injuries reported. Though physical evidence of a Smoke Alarm was not immediately released, Firefighters report "NOT" hearing alarms activating upon initial entry. There were no security bars or other obvious impairments to egress. The circumstances surrounding the fire and the fatality are under investigation. The dollar loss to the structure is still being tabulated.



Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Flight 93 National Memorial's Unique LA Connection

Thursday, March 09, 2006 |

Click to learn more...


As we look forward to your presence at today's "Firefighter of the Year" luncheon:

Thursday, March 9, 2006
12:00 Noon
Omni Los Angeles Hotel
251 South Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012 USA


...we wanted to bring your attention to the unique relationship between our City, one of it's Firefighters and the heroic passengers and crew of September 11's Flight 93 - The Flight That Fought Back.

Today at noon, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Fire Chief William Bamattre and community leaders will be joined by some very special guests in honoring the work of Captain Stephen J. Ruda, the Los Angeles Fire Department's "Firefighter of the Year".

Captain Ruda is not only being recognized for his countless contributions to the Fire Service and community, but also for an inspiring message he wrote on a tribute to the passengers and crew of Flight 93. That message reads in part:

"A common field one day. A field of honor forever."


In recognition of his sentiments being chosen as the Mission Statement for the Flight 93 National Memorial, Captain Ruda and those present today will be deeply honored - beyond our ability to express in words - by the presence and personal remarks of Debbie Borza, who lost her daughter Deora Bodley aboard Flight 93 in the courageous and successful thwarting of the terrorist attack upon our nation.

Joining Ms. Borza will be National Park Service Superintendent Joanne Hanley who guides ongoing and uplifting efforts to develop the Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania near the site where Flight 93 was brought down.

In a truly one of a kind opportunity, those present will also be able to meet simultaneously with noted Los Angeles architect Paul Murdoch who was bestowed the honor of designing the Flight 93 National Memorial. Mr. Murdoch will unveil a rendering of the Memorial at today's luncheon. Additional media images and information will be available.

The selfless actions of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 has evoked the eternal respect of the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department. We hope you will join with them today in honoring Captain Ruda and all those who choose to make a difference in protecting and serving our great nation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Takes Life in Bel Air

Wednesday, March 08, 2006 |

On Wednesday, March 8, 2006 at 2:22 AM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, five Arson Investigators, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Lawrence Schneider responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 1047 Moraga Drive in Bel Air.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire showing from the upstairs south-end of a two-story single family dwelling. Forcing entry into the home, they rapidly made their way through the 4,175 square-foot smoke-charged residence to tackle flames on the second floor.

The fire was confined to the second floor of the 56 year-old home and extinguished in less than seventeen minutes.

During fire attack, Firefighters discovered a man and woman unconscious and unresponsive in a second floor bedroom. Immediate Basic Life Support was promptly followed by Advanced Life Support measures as two teams of LAFD Paramedics rushed the patients to the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.

The 83 year-old male was declared deceased shortly after arrival at the hospital. A 79 year-old female remained in critical condition early Wednesday morning.

During their search and rescue efforts, Firefighters also found one lifeless pet dog within the home. Without vital signs of life, the animal proved to be beyond their assistance and was declared deceased at the scene.

Though physical evidence of a Smoke Alarm was discovered in the residence, the functional status of that device at the time of the fire could not be immediately determined. There were no security bars or other obvious impairments to egress.

Monetary loss from the blaze is estimated at $200,000 ($150,000 structure & $50,000 contents).

The fire's cause remains under active investigation.

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

Boy Ejected in Granada Hills Traffic Collision

Monday, March 06, 2006 |

On Monday, March 6, 2006 at 3:39 PM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Helicopter, two EMS Battalion Captains and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Patrick Engel responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision near 11459 Gothic Avenue in Granada Hills.

According to witnesses, a gray colored compact sedan collided with a dark blue full-sized sport utility vehicle, ejecting a seven year-old male from the sedan. The SUV continued on a brief distance to collide with and damage a street lamp on the southeast corner of Gothic Avenue and Rinaldi Street.

Firefighters arrived quickly during a period of light rain and systematically triaged each of the eight persons involved. Due to the ejected boy's severe head trauma an LAFD Air Ambulance was requested to standby at the heliport of nearby Providence Holy Cross Medical Center as the first-arriving ambulance rushed him to that facility.

With the LAFD Air Ambulance there and ready for a "hot-load" and rapid transport to the awaiting pediatric trauma staff at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Paramedics and Medical Control Physicians determined the child was not stable enough for the less than ten minute flight. He was then routed directly into the Emergency Department at Holy Cross in an attempt to stabilize his critical injuries.

One of the remaining seven patients, a thirteen year old male from the compact sedan was released to a relative who arrived at the scene. The remaining six patients, including five males from the SUV, some of whom were developmentally challenged, as well as the older adult female driver of the sedan, were promptly treated before transport to area hospitals, including Holy Cross, Mission Community and Olive View Medical Centers.

None of the adults transported had life-threatening injuries.

Contrary to speculative media reports, there were no pedestrians involved, nor were any of the patients airlifted by LAFD resources.

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


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fast Work by Firefighters Saves Apartment Building

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On Monday, March 6, 2006 at 3:35 AM, nineteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, eight LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, two Hazardous Materials Teams, three EMS Battalion Captains, five Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Roy Kozaki responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1132 South Doheny Drive in the Pico-Robertson area of west Los Angeles.

Arriving quickly to discover fire through the roof of a three-story partially occupied center-hallway apartment building undergoing renovation, Firefighters extended handlines to do battle with intense fire in one 1,700 square-foot unit on the third floor.

The fire was confined to the apartment of origin and extinguished in just thirty-five minutes.

Though there were no civilian injuries, one Firefighter sustained significant back pain during arduous fireground operations. He remained on duty pending a further medical assessment.

The adult male tenant of the involved apartment, who was in a second-floor unit at the time of the fire, was to seek his own accommodations. Residents of the two other occupied apartments in the nine-unit non-fire sprinklered building were not directly impacted by the flames.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $200,000 ($150,000 structure & $50,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Three Perish in Apartment Fire

Friday, March 03, 2006 |

On Friday, March 3, 2006 at 4:55 AM, fifteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, the Fire Chief, one Deputy Chief, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, four Arson Units, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, one EMS Battalion Captain, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Assistant Chief John Ware responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire With Fatalities at 525 South Ardmore Avenue in the Hancock Park/Wilshire Center area.

First units on the scene reported a three story apartment building over garages with fire and heavy smoke showing from one unit on the third floor. Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the fire and extinguished the fire in just twenty-eight minutes. During the initial search and rescue phase of the third floor, three bodies were discovered in the involved apartment and declared dead on the scene.

Over one-hundred Firefighters were able to confine the fire to one unit on the third floor of the one-hundred and seventy-five unit apartment building. Several other apartment units did sustain smoke and water damage during the firefighting operations. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and the fire damage is still being tabulated.

During firefighting operations, one Firefighter suffered a back injury and one Firefighter suffered a knee injury. Both Firefighters were treated at a local hospitals and released. Both Firefighters were placed off duty and will receive follow-up care as necessary.

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Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Rescues Dog and Cats From Hancock Park Fire

Thursday, March 02, 2006 |

On Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 3:55 PM, fifteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Hazardous Materials Team, one EMS Battalion Captain, five Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and two Division Chief Officer Command Teams, under the direction of Assistant Chief John Ware responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 149 South Manhattan Place in the Hancock Park/Wilshire Center area.

First units on the scene reported a two-story, 40' x 100', wood/stucco center hallway apartment building with heavy smoke showing from the second floor and fire through the roof. Initial reports indicated that residents maybe trapped on the fire floor.

Firefighters taking handlines to the second floor via an interior stairway immediately encountered heavy smoke in the hallway. As Firefighters made an aggressive attack on the interior fire, additional Firefighters were assigned to the Roof Division for ventilation and to the Search and Rescue Group to rescue trapped or
injured occupants.

Using aggressive fire attack procedures with handlines and effective strip ventilation to prevent or stop fire spread, it took Firefighters approximately twenty-seven minutes to extinguished the fire.

Occupants of the structure safely self-evacuated prior to the arrival of the Los Angeles Fire Department. During Firefighting operations, one Fire Captain suffered a back injury and transported to a local hospital in good condition.

Firefighters rescued a dog and several cats from the second floor and the City's Department of Animal Services was called to care for the pets.

As a result of the fire, one apartment unit was destroyed and fifty occupants will be displaced until further notice. The American Red Cross was requested to assist four occupants with placement.

The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation and fire damage is estimated at $200,000. ($150,000 structure and $50,000 contents).

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Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

The Right Stuff: LAFD's Captain Steve Ruda

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The Los Angeles Firefighters Association invites you to join the men and women of LAFD, as well as community and civic leaders from across the nation in recognizing the Los Angeles Fire Department's "Firefighter of the Year" for 2005.

This year's honoree is not only widely known for his countless contributions to the Fire Service and community, but also for an inspiring message he wrote on a quilted wall hanging sent as a tribute to the passengers and crew of September 11's Flight 93.

His heartfelt opening words soon became the Mission Statement of the Flight 93 National Memorial:

"A common field one day. A field of honor forever. May all who visit this place remember the collective acts of courage and sacrifice of the passengers and crew, revere this hallowed ground as the final resting place of those heroes, and reflect on the power of individuals who choose to make a difference."

Captain Stephen Ruda
Los Angeles Fire Department


LAFD Captain Steve Ruda


A man of both faith and courage who has served his country with distinction as a United States Marine, and since excelled as a leader in our agency, Captain Stephen J. Ruda will be honored by his peers as LAFD's "Firefighter of the Year" at a noon luncheon:

Thursday, March 9, 2006
Omni Los Angeles Hotel
251 South Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012 USA


Members of the public are warmly welcomed to join community leaders in attending this inspiring event. A limited number of tickets remain available for $38.00 per person. Tables of ten can still be purchased for $360.00

Tickets however, will not be sold at the door. You must RSVP. For additional information and reservations, please call: 213-386-3316.

We are pleased to offer an interactive map and driving directions to the Omni Hotel, and look forward to being with you next Thursday as we gather to honor Captain Steve Ruda - LAFD's Firefighter of the Year.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department