Firefighters Briefly Trapped, Injured in Pico-Union Blaze

Monday, February 05, 2007 |

On Monday, February 5, 2007 at 3:14 PM, sixteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, eight LAFD Rescue Ambulances, four Arson Units, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Rehab Air Tender Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, one Helicopter, three EMS Battalion Captains, the LAFD Medical Director, five Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 131 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire with Firefighter Injuries at 1866 West 11th Street in Pico-Union area of Los Angeles.

Arriving quickly to a report of two persons trapped on the second floor of a two story residential duplex that was heavily involved with fire, Firefighters mounted a swift offense with handlines and a primary search for the woman and teenage male seen at an upstairs window just prior to the Fire Department's arrival.

An all-out attack on the fire continued as ground ladders were strategically placed around the 3,187 square-foot structure and a crew of four Firefighters entered an uninvolved ground-floor portion of the smoke charged building to effect a rescue.

As the quartet of Firefighters climbed an interior stairway, it suddenly gave way, pitching the four into the flaming basement of the century-old wood frame building.

The imperiled Firefighters immediately activated the 'emergency triggers' on their handheld radios, which alerted both Firefighter/Dispatchers and the Incident Commander, who instantly deployed an on-site Rapid Intervention Company to assist the trapped crew.

Concurrently, the 18 year-old male and 42 year-old female civilians trapped in the building appeared at a different upstairs window, from which other Firefighters swiftly rescued the smoke-exposed but uninjured pair via ground ladder.

The Rapid Intervention Company was soon able to gain access to the trapped crew, to discover two uninjured Firefighters who had self-extricated themselves from a 'partial basement' to assist their colleagues who remained trapped.

Soon thereafter, those Firefighters assisted the Rapid Intervention Company in freeing a Fire Captain with a dislocated shoulder and a Firefighter with second- and third-degree burns to one hand. Both men were able to walk from the structure to awaiting medical aid.

Firefighters confined the fire to the structure of origin, fully extinguishing the flames in just 44 minutes.

The civilians rescued from the fire declined treatment or transportation to the hospital. The injured Fire Captain and Firefighter were taken to area hospitals where they were treated and released.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $250,000 ($200,000 structure & $50,000 contents). The cause of this blaze remains categorized as under investigation.

(video) (extended raw news video)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey
Los Angeles Fire Department


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about another few brothers injured. I hope and pray they will both feel better and get back to work soon.

Keep up the good work on this blog. It is interesting to hear the West Coast point of view.

FF/PM Christopher Culler
Engine 26
Baltimore City Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Brother Chris,

Thanks for the note and your kind words. They mean more than you know.

It is always a pleasure to hear from our colleauges in The Old Line State. In particular, your Department's reputation for bravery and commitment to excellence does indeed span the continent, and we're honored that you would take time to visit our blog. Please know that we've got some great things planned for our on-line presence, and we hope you'll be among the first to witness them.

Chris, this message would be incomplete if we did not ask you to kindly accept and share our condolences on the untimely passing of our Sister Racheal, whose aspirations to be a Baltimore City Firefighter inspired us all.

Please also extend our well wishes to your fellow members of BCFD's 2nd Battalion and all who devote their lives in protecting Baltimoreans from harm.

Chris, please let us know whe your travels might bring you to Southern California. There's always a warm cup of coffee with your name on it, and plenty of room at our kitchen table.

Fraternally Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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