Mickey Mouse Would Be Proud of These Pack "RAT" Conditions

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 |

On Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 1:31 PM, twelve Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, 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 Fred Mathis responded to a Structure Fire at 1024 Crescent Heights Bl. in Pico-Robertson.

Firefighters arrived to find a 2-story duplex apartment with fire showing from the second floor. An aggressive interior fire attack was immediately initiated in an effort to prevent the fire from spreading within the structure and consuming the entire building. During the fire fight, firefighters encountered severe pack-rat conditions which made operating within the structure extremely difficult.

The sole occupant, an 83 year-old female, was using both units, upstairs and downstairs, to store head high piles of objects and materials including stacks of newspapers over 50 years old. Firefighters had to crawl and navigate their way into the units to conduct search and rescue operations as well as locate the seat of the fire.

It took almost 100 Firefighters twenty-three minutes to gain control of the blaze. The bulk of the fire was confined to the kitchen and attic area of one unit.

During the fire, 1 Firefighter sustained a small second-degree burn to his chest when melting aluminum dripped from ceiling lights and found it's way inside his turnout coat. The Firefighter was transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital and placed off duty.

The occupant, an 83 year-old female, was transported to Cedars Sinai hospital in stable condition suffering from smoke inhalation. The preliminary cause is listed as electrical, however, the fire remains under investigation. The estimated dollar loss is $150,000 ( $110,000 Structure and $40,000 Contents).

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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