Blaze Erupts in Historic L.A. Neighborhood

Thursday, July 05, 2007 |

Photos courtesy of angelcore.

On Thursday, July 5, 2007 at 7:21 PM, 13 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Squad, 1 Helicopter, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 98 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Terrance Manning, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 617 Edgeware Road in Angelino Heights.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke and fire showing from a one-story residential structure, with flames and wind-driven embers endangering two adjacent homes in the largely historic neighborhood.

Assuring that both occupants had exited their burning home unscathed, Firefighters entered the 1,385 square-foot residence to immediately encounter heavy storage throughout, especially in the converted attic, which was was densly packed with personal belongings.

The massive amount of storage, such as mattresses stacked firmly against the dormer windows, prevented both Firefighter entry and hosestream penetration - and significantly fed the well-entrenched fire, which produced smoke visible across the Los Angeles basin, and notable to those watching baseball at nearby Dodger Stadium.

34-minutes into a relentless interior fire attack with multiple handlines, the Incident Commander noted structural compromise, and ordered a well-coordinated transition to defensive operations before a final assault was made on the fire.

Despite heavy flames in pack-rat conditions, and fire spread enhanced by the balloon-frame construction common of the era, Firefighters were able to confine the blaze to the structure of origin - with only superficial damage to nearby homes.

Firefighters extinguished the flames in just 71 minutes and no injuries were reported.

The presence or functional status of smoke alarms within the building at the time of the fire could not be immediately determined. The home was not equipped with fire sprinklers.

The two persons displaced by the fire were quickly embraced by caring neighbors, who sought to provide for their immediate needs. The American Red Cross was contacted to offer them temporary placement assistance.

Eleven additional Fire Companies were brought to the scene throughout the night to assist with the monumental overhaul effort and salvage of personal belongings, which kept Firefighters working for nearly eight and one-half hours.

Monetary loss to the 98 year-old home is estimated at $350,000 ($200,000 structure & $150,000 contents).

The cause of the fire has been categorized as electrical.

(photos) (video)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Anonymous said...

hi - i live on this block, and the info here is pretty accurate - but the image you have is not the main house that caught on fire. the house that burned down is to the left of the house pictured.

this house you have here was threatened, but thankfully the fire dept was on hand quickly and protected that lovely home. very impressive how soon they got there and had things pretty well in hand. without them, the entire block could have been up in smoke within the hour. the houses are so close together, and all old victorians, would not have been pretty.

the house that did burn down, was in pretty bad shape pre-fire. losts of debris in the small yard surrounding it - not surprising to hear it was a fire trap inside. very sad to see a nice old house go up in flames, regardless.

kudos to LAFD for the rapid response.

JW said...

Hi -

Details are incorrect here. I live on this street. The pictured house is NOT the one that burned down. It was the house NEXT to it, corner of Calumet and Edgeware, which unfortunately burned. It was considerably smaller. The house pictured, which is indeed a cultural landmark, looks to me like it miraculously escaped damage (and ABC 7 News reported that info, as well).

Ailene said...

Quick corrections: The address is 613 Edgeware Road, Los Angeles. At the time of the fire there was one female adult and a two year old boy (sleeping). Both were evacuated safely. The Red Cross and all the L.A.F.D. companies were all very kind and helpful: The families, friend and neighbors would like to extend their thanks and gratitude to them.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Thanks to all for the important feedback and your kind words.

The earlier post information came from our first responders, and though it was 'double-checked' via a phone conversation with our on-site Command Staff, I clearly should have quadruple-checked it on what proved to be a very busy night.

I'll make the necessary corrections when I catch a moment later this morning.

Again, thanks! Your feedback proves the worthiness of maintaining a blogging platform (as opposed to offering only a static press release).

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

Remember, this is PR blog.


Comments are invited for select topics only.

No thanks.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

This site is certainly about 'LAFD Media and Public Relations'.

We make no effort to infer otherwise.

In the interest of being helpful, I do make it clear on the comment page that this is not an 'open forum', but instead is a place to post "polite" and "on-topic" comments that may or may not be published.

On our comment form, I am pleased to provide a permanent link for those who instead wish to offer whatever is on their mind in an open (unmoderated) forum.

From time to time, we also point folks to a site where they can create a free blogof their own.

Though we ultimately accommodate *well more* than 90% of the comments that are submitted, there are some very compelling reasons that we cannot publish them all.

In the past few weeks, several blog visitors, including active and retired LAFD members have called to share their personal concerns and ask questions about comment thread protocol.

Though their calls sometimes commenced with frustration or even anger - every single caller concluded with a phrase such as "...I had no idea" "...I hadn't thought of that."

Come to think of it, at one time neither had we. :)

In closing, I welcome you to call me on any LAFD 'B' Shift, so that you - like the others, can have a chance to speak your mind, and also come to understand why things are the way they are.

All it takes is the courage to pick up the phone.

If you're unsure of my direct phone number, simply call 3-1-1, and one of the Ambassadors will be pleased to connect your call.

BTW, if you need some help in posting to open forums, or even building your own blog, I'll be happy to help you with that too!

Respectfully (and I suspect Fraternally) Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said... back to the topic at hand :)

The address of the property in question is indeed on Edgeware.

Using the City's ZIMAS, I came up with a parcel address of 617 Edgeware Road. Along with the corrections earlierr mentioned, I am pleased to share a loss estimate and cause.

Best of all... despite a swift-moving fire in pack-rat conditions and more than 8.5 hours of work for dozens of Firefighters, there was not a single civilian or LAFD injury.

Fire is a common enemy for us all.

We hope that this near-tragedy will cause those living in Angelino Heights - and beyond, to engage in meaningful fire safety discussions with all household members.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

"613" Edgeware

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