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Electrical Fire Displaces Seven in Boyle Heights

Friday, February 02, 2007 |

On Friday, February 2, 2007 at 6:30 AM, ten Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Hazardous Materials Team, one Emergency Air Unit, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 83 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Roderick Garcia responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 653 South Chicago Street in south Boyle Heights.

Moving Swiftly to Center Stage. © Photo by Rick McClure.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy smoke showing from the second floor of a two-story residential duplex. The first floor occupants awakened at a routine hour to find a light haze in their residence from a deeply entrenched fire above them, and immediately alerted Los Angeles Firefighters via 9-1-1 before escaping unscathed.

It is important to note while smoke alarms were physically present in their home, the devices proved to be non-functional, likely due to a lack of their monthly testing and annual maintenance strongly suggested by Firefighters and safety experts. Had the fire occurred but minutes earlier while the family slept, they might not have survived the blaze.

Firefighters, using hand-held thermal imaging cameras were able to finely focus their efforts on the stubborn flames, which had run the walls of the 85 year-old wood-frame and stucco building.

Our Job is Working with Tools. © Photo by Rick McClure.

With the assistance of strategic vertical ventilation to support the firefight and prevent fire spread, the flames were confined within the structure and completely extinguished in just 58 minutes.

There were no injuries.

A total of seven persons living in the two units were ultimately displaced by the fire, yet declined Fire Department offers of placement assistance.

Comprehensive and creative salvage efforts by Firefighters during fire attack limited fire loss to $100,000 ($75,000 structure and $25,000 contents), and guarded many family treasures.

The cause of this early morning blaze is categorized as electrical in nature.

(video) (images)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Anne said...

Those are some fantastic photos!

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Thanks for the note, and for always keeping the men and women of the LAFD a part of your wells wishes and positive thinking.

(Pssst. It's having an effect! ;)

We agree that Rick McClure is a talented lensmen, and will be certain to let the veteran Fire Captain know of your praise.

Please know that we've got some wonderful photos to add to our on-line collection, as soon as things slow down. Right now I'm about three weeks in arrears.

What some people may have missed are the 'notes' on the photos that become visible when you hover your mouse above the image while in the LAFD photo gallery (our best kept secret?)

You can never be sure what you'll find when you click on the links! :)

Anne, we hope your're saving Saturday May 12, 2007 so as to join us for our annual open house extravaganza. I'll be offering more info in the weeks to come.

Please stay safe and be well.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

For you younger members of the LAFD looking at the photo of four firefighters on the aerial.....what's wrong with that picture?
Hint: Look at the ladder angle and feet extended and then consider the ladder load limitations of an LTI aerial ladder.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for sharing your observations. Whenever a question should arise related to operational policies and procedures, we hope those same young members (in fact LAFD members of every age), will turn to our In-Service Training Section for details. Active-duty members of the LAFD can reach them at (213) 485-6087.

Fraternally Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

They were on the aerial like that because of the roof evacuation on their side. Although it's not a recommended load, it was a necessary.

Anonymous said...

For the younger members and anonymous, lets review this photo!
-Steep roof with space sheeting, wood shingles and 4-5 layers of composition. -Front half of the attic well involved. -Do you know, by looking at this picture, what the angle and feet extended of the ladder is? -Would you like to be the two members standing on the roof waiting for the other members to descend the ladder? -We all know what the books say and what reality is in the field. -The big question is .... do you honestly believe this LTI ladder is compromised do to the load? -Know your equipment and what it is capable of....
For more details on this incident contact A/O Matillo 2B.

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