Fire Destroys Dozens of Cars and Vacant Building in Atwater Village

Sunday, May 27, 2007 |

Fire destroys vacant building and dozens of cars in Atwater Village. © Photo by Mike MeadowsOn Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 2:21 PM, 23 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Squad, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 147 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at a new car storage yard near 4602 Brazil Street in the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles.

The aforementioned LAFD personnel were joined in Automatic Aid by 5 Engine Companies, 1 Truck Company and a Battalion Chief from the neighboring Glendale Fire Department, and 1 Battalion Chief from the nearby Burbank Fire Department. All responders operated under the Unified Command of LAFD Assistant Chief Terrance Manning and Glendale Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Doyle.

Fire destroys vacant building and dozens of cars in Atwater Village. © Photo by Mike MeadowsFirst to arrive Los Angeles Firefighters quickly navigated the remote portion of an industrial district to discover a vacant and aging one-story 50' x 100' commercial structure fully involved, with flames extending to vegetation, rubbish and densely stored new vehicles nearby.

In a well-coordinated defensive operation, master hose streams were swiftly focused on the decrepit wooden structure, as flames fanned by 10 mile-per-hour winds took hold of unkempt and highly flammable vegetation, including palm trees as much as a quarter-mile away.

The wind-driven embers drove fire north and east to the Los Angeles River, as teams of Firefighters worked multiple handlines on the distant flames, paying close heed to a busy adjacent railroad and high-voltage electrical lines above portions of the fire.

Simultaneously, their colleagues sought to prevent rapid fire spread among dozens of closely parked vehicles stored bumper-to-bumper near the burning building.

Fire destroys vacant building and dozens of cars in Atwater Village. © Photo by Mike MeadowsWeakened by the blaze, the ramshackle structure collapsed as a total loss. Despite the efforts of Firefighters, a total of 53 new passenger vehicles, including several sedans destined for livery service, were damaged or destroyed by fire.

During the intense battle against the flames, one Los Angeles Firefighter sustained a sizeable laceration to his left hand. He was transported in good condition to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was treated and released to remain off-duty.

No other injuries were reported.

Firefighter/Heavy Equipment Operators from the LAFD Tractor Company assisted with the prolonged overhaul of smoldering debris.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. Though witnesses place fire origin in close proximity to the vacant structure, the specific cause of the blaze remains categorized as "under investigation".

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Landon J - Arcadia CA said...

I was listening to this fire live. I thought with operating 3 tactical channels and regular dispatch for both LA City FD and Glendale FD was a great accomplishment by the Unified Command Post. I know myself as a fire explorer and being around the Fire Dept for alot of my life that it is no easy job running a incident command post.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Thanks for the note.

The incident was indeed a challenge, and the effectiveness of both Command and Control was paramount in the quick extinguishment of the fire.

Please accept our thanks for being a Fire Service Explorer. With your up-close exposure to our vocation, we hope you will aim high and consider a career as a Los Angeles Firefighter. To learn more, please visit:

Again Landon, thanks for your kind words.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Emergency Public Information Center
Los Angeles Fire Department

AVN said...

Another great thorough update, Brian! Thanks for keeping us informed about the neighborhood. Much appreciated. - Atwater Village Newbie

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