Real Heroes At Home and Abroad: L.A.'s Marines

Sunday, July 30, 2006 |

City Recognizes Marines Who Tried To Save Fire Victims:

LOS ANGELES -- Two Marines were recognized Friday for their attempt to save people from a burning house.

Cpl. Richard Figueroa and Staff Sgt. Jose Umana were recognized at a ceremony conducted by the city council and fire department.

The two men discovered a home on fire June 27 on 2nd Avenue in Los Angeles' West Adams District. They broke windows and tore through bars to enter the home and search for occupants... (more)


NBC4's Robert Kovacik offers the details in a stirring video, which merely underscores our profound admiration for the men and women of our Armed Forces at home and abroad.

Semper Fi!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Brush Fire in Benedict Canyon Injures Two Firefighters

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 |

On Tuesday, July 25, 2006 at 11:12 AM, forty-five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, eight LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Arson Units, two Rehab Units, five LAFD Helicopters, one EMS Battalion Captain, seven Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a compliment of other LAFD support companies, four Los Angeles County Camp Crews, and two Los Angeles County Helicopters all under the direction of Battalion Chief Richard E. Markota responded to a Brush Fire at Rimmele Dr and Benedict Canyon Dr. in Beverly Glen.

LAFD Dispatchers received multiple calls stating that a brush fire was threatening structures in the Benedict Canyon area of the City. A full "Brush Assignment" was dispatched in anticipation of the impending blaze. While enroute, responding fire companies spotted a large column of smoke rising from the canyon. Additional Firefighting resources, including additional air support, were requested and dispatched before the first Companies arrived on scene.

Firefighters were immediately confronted with approximately one acre of heavy brush burning downhill towards several expensive homes. Structure protection groups were immediately formed and placed strategically to prevent the loss of homes within the canyon. Firefighters, accompanied by water dropping helicopters, aggressively attacked the fire in an effort to slow the spread and gain control of the blaze.

It took more than 250 Firefighters and six water dropping helicopters over six hours to completely contain and extinguish the fire. Due to the aggressive dispatch of additional resources and an enormous effort by Firefighters, only one structure received minor damage during this 15 acre fire.

During firefighting operations, one L.A. County Camp Crew Firefighter succumbed to the effects of the strenuous firefighting operation and was transported to St. Johns Hospital Medical Center for evaluation of heat related exhaustion.

In addition, during the final phase of the firefighting operation, one Los Angeles City Firefighter was injured when a 1 inch firefighting hose line burst, striking the Firefighter in the back of the neck,knocking him to the ground. The Firefighter suffering from neck and back injuries was airlifted, due to being in an inaccessible location, to UCLA Medical Center for treatment. Fortunately, neither injury was considered to be life threatening.

The cause of the fire and dollar loss is still under investigation.

Submitted by Ron Myers
Los Angeles Fire Department

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LAFD Audio Update - Benedict Canyon Fire

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this is an audio post - click to play

Los Angeles Fire Department Stands By As Over Five Thousand Rally

Sunday, July 23, 2006 |

On Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 12:07 PM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, eleven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Hazardous Materials Team, four EMS Battalion Captains, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, and other LAFD support personnel operating under the direction of Deputy Chief Roy Kozaki responded to a Unified Command Stand By at the "Support Israel Rally" at 6067 W. Wilshire Bl in Park LaBrea/Fairfax.

The Los Angeles Fire Department, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police Department spent a significant amount of time pre-planning the various aspects of the event. A Unified Command with LAPD and LAFD command staff were implemented and strategically positioned at the Los Angeles Museum of Art to assist in the overall management of the incident. Under the Command post, Divisions, Branches, and Groups were established to handle various aspects of the incident.

In an effort to provide rapid Paramedic intervention during the event, several Medical Task Force Teams were formed and strategically located throughout the venue. Additionally, the LAFD deployed two Bicycle Paramedic Teams and one "Gator" Team. The "Gator" Team 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.

As the event progressed throughout the late afternoon, the Los Angeles Fire Department assisted numerous individuals with medical needs ranging from heat related emergencies, to minor physical injuries. The exact number of people treated and/or transported is still being tabulated.

Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Aggressive Fire Attack Saves Strip-Mall

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On Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 12:31 PM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Rehab Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, one Helicopter, one EMS Battalion Captain, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Ray Olsen responded to a Structure Fire at 5400 N. Whitsett Avenue in Valley Village.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke and fire showing from a 50' x 120', one-story commercial strip mall. Firefighters swiftly forced entry and using handlines, mounted a brisk and decisive assault on the flames.

Timely and precise vertical ventilation by rooftop Firefighters aided the successful effort to confine the majority of the damage to the unit of origin in just 27 minutes.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. The dollar loss is still being tabulated.


Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Greater Alarm Brush Fire, Fire Departments Work Together To Protect Homes

Friday, July 21, 2006 |

On Friday, July 21, 2006 at 5:06 PM, nine Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Helicopter, one EMS Battalion Captain, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, and other LAFD support personnel operating under a Unified Command with Los Angeles County Fire Department as the lead agency, responded to a Brush Fire in the County of Los Angeles near the intersection of NB 5 FY X Eb Foothill FY.

First units on the scene reported approximately three acres of moderate to heavy brush burning in very rugged terrain. Los Angeles Fire Department Resources, under the command of Battalion Chief Gary Clark, were quickly mobilized to establish a "Structure Protection Group" to protect neighboring homes from the advancing flames.

LAFD Rescue Ambulance #75 treated and transported two Los Angeles County Camp Crew Inmates who complained of dehydration to Holy Cross Hospital. After approximately two hours, LAFD personnel were released from the incident.

There were no reported injuries to LAFD members, and the cause of the blaze is under investigation by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.



Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Fire Damages Gymnasium at Franklin High School

Thursday, July 20, 2006 |

On Thursday, July 20, 2006 at 8:08 PM, fifteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Hazardous Materials Team, one EMS Battalion Captain, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Douglas Graft responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 820 North Avenue 56 in the Highland Park area.

First units on scene reported a one story 50' x 120' gymnasium on the campus of Franklin High School well involved. As Firefighters gained access and began to attack the fire, firefighters on the roof simultaneously conducted ventilation operations.

Due to the aggressive fire attack, and well coordinated ventilation efforts, over one-hundred Los Angeles Firefighters confined the fire to the structure of origin and brought the flames under control in less than 23 minutes.

There were no reported injuries.

Damage estimates are still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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North Hollywood Collision Sends Five to Hospital

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 |

On Wednesday, July 19, 2006 at 9:58 PM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, six LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue Company, one Urban Search and Rescue Company, three EMS Battalion Captains and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Evan Williams responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision at 11470 Saticoy Street in North Hollywood.

The first units arrived quickly to discover a five-patient two-vehicle collision in which both passenger cars left the roadway, striking and coming to rest against a tree on the south side of the street, trapping one driver.

Los Angeles Police and Department of Transportation Officers skillfully controlled both bystanders and traffic as Firefighters worked briskly with power tools to remove the trapped fifty year-old male driver of the one vehicle as his three female passengers, ages 15, 16 and 60 were quickly triaged, treated and prepared for transport.

The younger of the three female passengers, who had been briefly knocked unconscious, was transported to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in critical condition, while the other teenager, in serious condition with chest pain, soon followed to the same facility.

The older woman passenger, also in serious condition with chest pain, was transported to the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, where the briefly trapped driver was also taken in critical condition following his ten minute extrication.

The affiliation of the four persons in the one car could not be immediately determined.

The driver and sole occupant of the other vehicle, 21 year-old male, complained only of wrist pain, and was taken to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in fair condition.

The Los Angeles Police Department will be investigating the cause of this collision.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Blogger Trapped in Hollywood Elevator Tells Tale

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Madley KatarunganMeet Madley Katarungan, Playwright, Composer, Blogger and Housesitter - and as of 4:00 AM today, the new best friend of 'A' Platoon Firefighters at LAFD Station 27.

This morning, Ms. Katarungan wrote:

"If ever there was a time to be blogging, this was it -- yes, tonight after a late night visit with a friend, I was stuck in an elevator for the first time in my life!" (more...)


As part of an ongoing effort to highlight citizen generated media (CGM) regarding the Los Angeles Fire Department, including recent photos and video, we're pleased to share Madley's story.

We think her missive is important to share, as it allows us as Firefighters to better understand the concerns of a person in peril. It is also a great opportunity for us to remind everyone that 9-1-1 is the correct phone number to call whenever someone is trapped in an elevator in Los Angeles.

The City's 3-1-1 number is for information and general service requests - not for emergency response!

In closing, we'd like to thank Ms. Katarungan for her kind words, and assure her that members of the LAFD will do everything in their power to remain worthy of her generous respect and praise.

We also hope that she'll be among the many joining us on Saturday, October 7, 2006 for the second annual Firefighter Festival of Hollywood. The crew from Fire Station 27 will be there, and we trust you will too!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Radar Outage Grounds West Coast Flights

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 |

On Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 6:59 PM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two EMS Battalion Captains and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Millage Peaks responded to a Airport Incident at Los Angeles International Airport.

At approximately 6:45 PM the Los Angeles Fire Department Dispatch Center was notified that a power disruption had rendered the Los Angeles Enroute Air Traffic Control Center in Palmdale, California inoperable. Due to the power disruption and lack of radar contact, aircraft throughout the Western United States were grounded, remained in holding patterns, or were delayed for several hours. At one time, it was reported that up to 70 airplanes were loaded with passengers and awaiting take off at Los Angeles International Airport.

The Los Angeles Fire Department pre-deployed Firefighters and Paramedics to strategic locations near airport facilities. A command team was implemented and remained vigilant throughout the incident, preparing contingency plans, should any incidents occur.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported, the system was restored, and air traffic resumed normal operations after the disruption. The incident is under investigation by the FAA and other concerned authorities.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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DOJ: Terrorist Attack on Unintended Target

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(UPDATED) On June 12, 2006, the United States Department of Justice issued a press release through the Los Angeles Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation stating:

ANIMAL LIBERATION GROUP TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR TERRORIST ATTACK ON ELDERLY WOMAN WHO WAS UNINTENDED TARGET - REWARD FOR INFORMATION OFFERED

Late last night, an animal rights website reported that the Animal Liberation Front or 'ALF' has claimed responsibility for an improvised incendiary device left at a home in Bel Air, California. The device found outside the home and mentioned in the website report could have claimed the life of its unintended victim..." (more....)


On July 18, 2006, the USDOJ is offering a increased the reward up to $10,000 $30,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person/s responsible for this crime.

Those with information are encouraged to contact the FBI in Los Angeles at any hour by calling 310-477-6565.

July 13: (video)

July 18: (video)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Two Walk Away From Airplane Crash

Friday, July 14, 2006 |

On Friday, July 14, 2006 at 3:05 PM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Bowman responded to a Aircraft Crash at 10130 North San Fernando Road in Pacoima.

As Battalion 12 arrived on scene, they reported finding a small, single engine airplane located in the wash just east of Whiteman Airport. The plane, carrying a 34 year-old male instructor and a 50 year-old male student had been performing "touch and go" operations when the aircraft experienced engine problems. As the airplane landed in the wash, it overturned and came to rest upside down.

Fortunately, both passengers suffered only minor injuries and were treated at the scene and released. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the FAA and other regulatory agencies.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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$55,000 Reward Offered in Tarzana Temple Blaze

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Los Angeles Councilman Dennis Zine and the Los Angeles Fire Department are requesting the public's assistance in obtaining information that wil lead to the identification, apprehension and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the fire and anti-Semitic graffiti sustained at the Beith David Educational Center Temple in Tarzana on July 7, 2006.

Joining Councilman Zine and the LAFD in this important effort are the Los Angeles Police Department and the US Department Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).

In addition to the $50,000 reward offered by the City of Los Angeles, the BATFE is offering an additional $5,000 reward.

Any member of our community with information regarding this hate crime should contact the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section at 213-485-6095.

July 19: (video)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Los Angeles Muni-Bloggers and Metro-Nerds

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Regular visitors to the LAFD News & Information blog are often surprised to learn that the Los Angeles Fire Department is not the only City agency using the blogosphere (we so rarely get a chance to use that phrase!). Our fellow bloggers include:

  • City Council President Eric Garcetti

  • City Councilman Bill Rosendahl

  • Los Angeles Police Department

  • Los Angeles Department of Animal Services

  • Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks

  • LAFD Battalion 14


  • While we've posted previously about the Muni-Bloggers© above, who post in an official or semi-official capacity, we're also pleased to make you aware of Metro-Nerds©.

    What is a Metro-Nerd©?

    We define them as those who privately or surreptitiously seek to share insight into the happenings and history of local government agencies. Please then allow us to introduce the Royalty of Metro-Nerds©: LACityNerd.

    Yes, that is what s/he calls him or herself, and behind the facade dwells the mindset and spirit of an anonymous City employee devoted to sharing an encyclopedic knowledge of this great City.

    While many of us at City Hall subscribe to the LACityNerd feed, you can also bookmark and visit the blog to gain an impressive insight into what makes Los Angeles tick.

    Germane to this post, LACityNerd is presently conducting an on-line poll regarding the effectiveness of City leaders, including our own Chief William Bamattre. If you'd like to sound off, please visit the right column of the LACityNerd blog.

    In closing, we'd again like to thank City Council President Garcetti for his kind words regarding LAFD's sophomoric blogging effort, and express our appreciation for his encouraging us to work together as Muni-Bloggers© and Metro-Nerds©.

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Two Dead in Fiery Crash Near Van Nuys Airport

    Thursday, July 13, 2006 |

    On Thursday, July 13, 2006 at 1:56 AM, two Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances and one EMS Battalion Captain responded to a Civilian Fatality Traffic Collision Involving Fire near the intersection of Sherman Way and Hayvenhurst Avenue in Van Nuys.

    Firefighters and Paramedics arrived quickly to discover an apparently eastbound dark-colored compact sedan which had left the roadway and traveled up a 45-degree embankment before colliding with a bridge abutment at the west portal of the Sherman Way underpass at Van Nuys Airport.

    The heavily damaged vehicle was fully ablaze on Firefighters arrival. Despite the LAFD's quick response and extinguishment of the flames, the vehicle's two occupants were deceased at the scene. Due to burn and traumatic injury, the age and gender of the decedents could not be immediately determined.

    No other injuries were reported, and there was no impact on airport operations.

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

    The cause and circumstances of the collision remain under active investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

    (video) (images)

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Chemical Tangle Produces Reaction in Boyle Heights

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006 |

    On Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at 1:55 PM, eleven Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Hazardous Materials Squad, one EMS Battalion Captain, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 3411 East 15th Street in Boyle Heights.

    Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly at an industrial coatings firm to discover an orderly self-evacuation of less than a dozen persons after a vat began producing vapors.

    Firefighters immediately established a perimeter and an uphill/upwind Command Post as well as a staging location as the one-story building's former occupants were all accounted for and assured to be uninjured.

    According to staff at Surface Protection Industries, their employees had earlier placed a combination of nitrocellulose and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether in an approximately four-foot-tall by four-foot-diameter mixing tank, and as in the past, placed a cover over the approximately 100 gallon mixture as they departed the immediate area for a break.

    Unlike earlier occassions, they returned after approximately one-half hour to discover smoke and vapors emanating from the tank and called 9-1-1.

    LAFD Haz-Mat experts in full protective gear utilized sophisticated instruments, including thermal imaging cameras, to determine that portions of the mixing tank were indeed producing heat as well as vapors.

    After brief consultation with the firm's onsite technical staff regarding the atypical product behavior, Firefighters commenced indirect cooling measures to the outside lower portions of the tank in an effort to lessen the vapor and stabilize the product.

    After careful analysis, the indirect method was seen to offer suboptimal results, and secondary measures - already prepared, were soon enacted by Firefighters.

    Taking profound care to contain any runoff, the tank's cover was removed as water was directly introduced into to tank, cooling the mixture and abating the vapors.

    Those efforts successful, the site was returned hours later to the control of Surface Protection Industries, with the stipulation for a continuous Fire Watch pending the arrival of a private hazardous materials removal and remediation firm.

    There were no civilian or Firefighter injuries reported. The County of Los Angeles Fire Department's Health Hazardous Materials Division was to handle the incident to conclusion.

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    47 Years Ago Today: Laurel Canyon Ablaze

    Monday, July 10, 2006 |

    With the Los Angeles Fire Department's annual Brush Clearance Program well in effect, residents of America's second-largest municipality breath quiet relief that wildfire has yet to take hold in LA's combustible hillsides.

    Some have gone so far as to suggest that major wildfires never strike Los Angeles this early in the year. In that, they would be mistaken.

    The Laurel Canyon fire of July 10, 1959 was a major emergency that levied a serious impact on our Department and those we serve.

    While our predecessors description of the fire reminds us of omnipresent danger, it also expresses the resolve and ambition that remains to this day among the men and women who seek to deliver what some then called 'man made miracles'.

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Fire Blogging: Dollars and Sense

    Sunday, July 09, 2006 |

    We are pleased to present the results of our recent poll and some statistics regarding this LAFD News & Information blog.

    As you likely know, our blog needs an infusion of style and technology.

    Surprised to learn that this blog (like all LAFD Internet offerings) is a non-funded endeavor, local residents suggested that a simple banner advertisement might raise funds for the LAFD Blog Team through the Adopt-a-Fire-Station Program.

    Would it work? There was only one way to find out.

    For the past five weeks, the LAFD Internet Lab has displayed an ad banner from our friends at Amazon.com in the right column of our blog, with an adjacent link to an on-line poll (now closed).

    Our goal?

    First, to see if funds might be raised passively for a blog-specific 'Adopt-A-Fire-Station' account, and secondly to see what visitors thought of the sample advertising.

    The results were intriguing...

    During the five week period, the LAFD blog was visited 94,758 times. The most viewed blog story was the United Airlines Boeing 767 incident at LAX, and the most popular referrer? Our very own Flickr photo album.

    The results of the poll:

    Only eleven (yes, a genuine micro-percentage) of our visitors chose to participate in the poll, making it far from scientific. No respondent suggested we remove the ad banner, and a whopping 82% made it clear they had no particular concern about such advertising.

    Of course, that's only half the story.

    With nearly 95,000 humans (and some machines) viewing the Amazon.com banner, a mere 219 visitors chose to click on the dynamic advertising content, which most often displayed books related to the keyword 'fire'.

    Of the 219 that dared to click on the banner, not a single purchase was made, and our total blog generated funding to the Adopt-A-Fire-Station-Fund was zero.

    So much for those that think blog ads bring revenue. It does however, bring attention. Namely yours, and for that we are appreciative.

    We wish to thank those who helped with this experiment. Now that we've answered the question, the Amazon.com banner will soon be removed.

    Do you have a question, concern or suggestion specific to the LAFD News & Information blog? Please use the comments link below to tell us what's on your mind.

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Fire Department Vernacular: BLEVE

    Saturday, July 08, 2006 |

    A recent shipboard hazard safely abated in the Port of Los Angeles caused many to pursue the LAFD historical archive of harbor emergencies, especially the Berth 223, S.S. Markay and S.S. Sansinena explosions that brought forth operational and procedural safeguards used aboard the Probo Elk this week.

    If there is one challenge that remains however, it is our publicly conveying the danger of fire meeting bulk flammables, especially those that are pressurized or vapor producing.

    Please allow us to introduce you to the phenomenon of BLEVE.

    Pronounced blevy (bleh-vee), it is an acronym for "Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion". This is a type of explosion that can occur when a vessel containing a pressurized liquid ruptures. The brief video below portrays a simple BLEVE involving one over-the-road tank truck.


    If a picture is worth a thousand words... we hope you now understand the Los Angeles Fire Department's obsession with safety at the scene of every emergency, and our unswerving commitment to Fire Prevention.

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

    Sprinklers Snuff Arson Fire at Tarzana Temple

    Friday, July 07, 2006 |

    On Friday, July 7, 2006 at 8:04 AM, two Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters and four LAFD Arson Investigators responded to an Incendiary Fire at 'Temple Beith David' located at 18648 Clark Street in Tarzana.

    Summoned but once by a neighbor who had grown weary of hearing alarm bells ringing at the building for more than two hours, Neighborhood Firefighters arrived quickly to discover burnt debris piled against rear doors of the Jewish Temple amidst obvious signs of criminal vandalism.

    In accordance with Los Angeles Fire Department protocol, the House of Worship Arson Task Force (HOWATF) was requested as Firefighters cordoned off the area and confirmed that Fire Sprinklers located under the eaves of the recently refurbished building had indeed fully extinguished the flames.

    Investigators from the Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Police Department were soon joined at the scene by their HOWATF colleagues from the United States Department of Justice: Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in commencing a formal investigation.

    Property loss attributed to the purposely-set blaze, including damage to a pair of large oak doors, is estimated at $9,000. No physical injuries were reported.

    The sprinkler-activated bells heard by the neighbor appear to have only sounded locally, and were not connected to an alarm service that would have notified Firefighters at the time of sprinkler activation.

    While no credible threat is now known to local Houses of Worship, Firefighters ask residents to remain watchful of such properties, and to report suspicious activity to Law Enforcement officials.

    Firefighters also suggest that those with commercial alarm and/or sprinkler systems assure they are both functional and connected to a monitoring service.

    This arson fire is not expected to effect a planned Sunday dedication ceremony at the site, celebrating the building's four-year conversion from a Post Office to the San Fernando Valley's newest synagogue.

    The criminal attack remains under active investigation by members of the multi-agency House of Worship Arson Task Force. Those with information or tips for the investigation team are asked to contact LAFD Investigator Thomas Derby at 213-485-6514 or FBI Agent Kenneth E. Smith at 310-477-6565.

    (video) (video)

    UPDATE: A reward is being offered for information about this fire.

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Shipboard Hazard Abated in Port of Los Angeles

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    On Friday, July 7, 2006 at 11:41 AM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, six LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Rehab/Air Tender Unit, one Hazardous Materials Task Force, two EMS Battalion Captains, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Command Post Unit and a Division Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas responded to assist the United States Coast Guard with a Hazardous Materials Investigation at Berth 118 in the Port of Los Angeles.

    Firefighters arrived quickly and staged in readiness to assist the Coast Guard in their already active analysis and stabilization of a potentially hazardous condition aboard the Probo Elk, a 600-foot long bulk-liquid tank ship of Marshall Islands registry.

    Prior to that response...

    On the Probo Elk's arrival from South Korea the night before, a Los Angeles Fire Department Marine Task Force boarded the craft at 9:11 PM to complete a routine and legally mandated inspection. Shortly after arrival, they noted an apparent spill of flammable liquid within the confines of the ship as well as combustible atmosphere alarm activation in one or more of the ship's seven cargo holds.

    Pursuant of protocol, the Coast Guard was notified and rapidly responded to the ship, relieving Firefighters of scene management as they worked with the ship's crew through the night to rectify problems with the required and routine insertion of an inert gas into the void space created by the discharge of flammable fuel cargo.

    There was no evidence of the fuel leaking into harbor waterways.

    LAFD Marine Task Force personnel aboard two Fireboats, one land based Engine Company and one Battalion Chief were subsequently requested to return to the location at 2:50 AM Friday morning, and remained on scene for fifty-five minutes, before being released by Coast Guard staff.

    At 11:41 AM Friday, the return of LAFD personnel brought more than 100 Firefighters to the location. They remained in staging to protect responders, remaining ship's crew, and the maritime industrial property adjacent to Berth 118 as Coast Guard officials further stabilized the scene.

    A 600-yard exclusion zone of non-essential personnel was enacted by Firefighters and enforced by Port Police Officers until the volatility of combustible vapors within the cargo hold was lessened.

    It was during that 7 hour and 12 minute standby that one Los Angeles Firefighter sustained a significant finger injury. Following basic treatment at the scene, he was transported by ambulance to Little Company of Mary San Pedro Hospital, where he was placed off-duty following emergency room treatment.

    No other injuries were reported.

    Coast Guard personnel released the aforementioned Los Angeles Firefighters early Friday evening.

    LAFD resources were summoned to the site one final time at 8:22 PM Friday to accompany the Probo Elk to the open sea, where final repairs, assessment and a possible transfer of remaining product were anticipated to take place offshore under the watchful eye of Coast Guard officials.

    The inspection of Tanker Ships arriving at the Port of Los Angeles is an around-the-clock task for Los Angeles Fire Department personnel. They proudly fulfill this duty in the hope of preventing events similar to disasters that have occurred there in the past.

    (video)

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    LAFD Salutes Phoenix Retiree as 'America's Fire Chief'

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006 |

    The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department were honored to be represented this past week by a large contingent of active and retired LAFD members in saluting 'America's Fire Chief':

    America's Fire Chief Retires
    Fire Times

    Phoenix, Arizona - Phoenix Fire Chief Alan V. Brunacini was feted June 30th by well wishers from around the nation. He retires after more than four decades of services as a Phoenix firefighter and 28 years as its fire chief. Known to many as "Bruno," his retirement dinner had... (more...)


    Those at the LAFD will deeply miss Chief Brunacini, who became a great friend to our members - and therefore a benefactor to those we serve, during his many local training sessions and presentations on Fire Department Customer Service.

    We'd also like to congratulate renowned Phoenix Fire Department Assistant Chief Bob Khan on his fitting selection to take the helm of that fine agency in Chief Brunacini's retirement.

    # # #


    On a personal note... while his friends called him "Bruno", I could never bring myself to addressing him as anything but "Chief Brunacini, Sir!". In his honor though, I am posting this message (from home) while wearing my favorite Hawaiian shirt.

    If you never had the pleasure of meeting this great man, I'd encourage you to read one of his best-selling books, especially Essentials of Fire Department Customer Service. -BH-

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Woman Dies in Silver Lake Fire

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006 |

    On Tuesday, July 4, 2006 at 3:47 AM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Arson Units, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Chris Kawai responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 4014 Effie Street in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.

    Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a one-story single family dwelling well-involved with fire. Entering the nearly 740 square-foot residence, they made quick work at tackling a firmly entrenched fire.

    While battling flames within the 92 year-old craftsman-style bungalow, Firefighters discovered the body of a female adult in a rear bedroom. Without vital signs of life, she was declared deceased at the scene.

    No other injuries were reported.

    Firefighters have determined that the residence lacked functional Smoke Alarm(s) as required by law. Though the home's windows were fitted with security bars, there is no indication at this time that they were an impairment to egress.

    While neighbors have described the illegal use of personal fireworks taking place in the neighborhood throughout the night, the specific cause of this fire remains under active investigation by Police and Fire Department officials.

    Monetary loss from the blaze is estimated at $110,000 ($80,000 structure & $30,000 contents).

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

    (video)

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Firefighter Injured After Child Starts Pacoima Fire

    Sunday, July 02, 2006 |

    On Sunday, July 2, 2006 at 4:43 PM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, two EMS Battalion Captains, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Curtis James responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 10691 Kewen Avenue in Pacoima.

    Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire showing from the rear of a one-story single family dwelling.

    Strategically deploying handlines to both battle the flames and protect nearby homes, Firefighters aggressively attacked the swift-moving fire, which had taken hold of the rear patio and extended into the kitchen and a nearby bedroom addition on their arrival.

    During the intense fire attack, one Firefighter sustained a non-life threatening injury to his ankle. Following initial care at the scene, he was transported by ambulance to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

    No other injuries were reported.

    Monetary loss from the fire is estimated at $70,000 ($50,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The cause of the blaze is attributed to a six year-old male igniting combustibles on the patio while playing with fire.

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Firefighters Confront Flames at Northridge Bakery

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    On Sunday, July 2, 2006 at 4:34 PM, thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Rehab/Air Tender Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, three EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Robert Rose, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 8811 Amigo Avenue in Northridge.

    Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke showing from the northeast corner of a 100' x 100' one story commercial bakery, with flames soon thereafter through the roof.

    Firefighters using handlines confined the intense fire to Greene's Wholesale Bakery, extinguishing the flames in just 45 minutes.

    There were no injuries.

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

    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Blaze Stopped Atop Sherman Oaks Office Building

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    On Sunday, July 2, 2006 at 4:24 PM, thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, seven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, one EMS Battalion Captain, six Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Assistant Chief Curtis James responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 14140 Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

    The first Company arrived quickly to discover a large column of heavy smoke showing from the roof of a 150' x 150' three-story modern office building.

    A trio of aerial ladders were extended to the roof as Firefighters secured the lobby and stairwells of the structure, making their way briskly up the interior and exterior of the sealed building to find heavy fire burning in and near rooftop air conditioning equipment.

    Nearly two-dozen of the 103 Firefighters at scene made coordinated entry into upper floor offices and with tremendous care, pulled the suspended ceiling to check for fire extension, as their colleagues raised several hoselines to the roof to confine the flames.

    The stubborn fire was confined to the rooftop and topside equipment and extinguished in just thirty-one minutes. There were no injuries.

    Loss from the blaze is estimated at $201,000 ($200,000 structure & $1,000 contents). The cause of this fire remains undetermined.


    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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    Groundbreaking for new Fire Station in L.A's Koreatown

    Saturday, July 01, 2006 |

    You are cordially invited to join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Ed Reyes, Fire Chief William Bamattre and civic and community leaders at the groundbreaking ceremony for new Los Angeles Fire Station 13 in Koreatown. Please join us...

    Monday, July 10, 2006
    10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
    2401 West Pico Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90006


    We are pleased to offer an interactive map with driving directions. All are welcome.

    We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 13 and the many Fire Department facilities being modernized by Proposition F by viewing a detailed Monthly Progress Report in PDF format accessible through:

    www.lafd.org/propf.htm


    Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
    Los Angeles Fire Department