Firefighters Swiftly Tackle Hollywood Apartment Fire

Thursday, November 08, 2007 |

On Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 4:12 PM, 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 74 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, assisted by 1 Task Force of Los Angeles County Firefighters deployed in Automatic Aid, all under the direction of LAFD Battalion Chief Chris Kawai, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1541 North Martel Avenue in Hollywood.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover intense flames showing from a 2nd floor window on the south side of a three-story apartment building. Extending hoselines down long hallways of the mostly center-hallway structure, Firefighters engaged in fierce battle with well entrenched flames in the one unit.

As thick smoke all but filled adjacent hallways, additional teams of Firefighters scoured the adjacent apartments in the 53-unit building, assisting occupants in their evacuation as well as sheltering several others in place. The fire was confined to the apartment of origin and fully extinguished in just 32 minutes.

There were no injuries.

The one woman displaced by the blaze received placement assistance from the building owner. Loss from the fire is estimated at $140,000 ($120,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It should also be reported that there were NO working fire alarms throughout the building, the fire doors didn't work, there is no sprinkler system, the security alarms didn't go off when emergency doors were opened and there was no effort made to rescue unattended pets in any of the apartments. The firefighters did a fantastic job in putting out the fire quickly, but it was a frightening experience to residents, like me, who were not aware of what was happening until the intense, fast moving smoke started overtaking us. Had the alarm system worked, we would have known to evacuate before it became dire.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 11:29,

Thanks for taking time to write.

We are deeply pleased to know that you, your neighbors and pets were able to emerge unharmed from such a smokey and swift-moving blaze.

The formal status of fixed protection systems at the site, such as alarms, as well as the official cause of the fire, are due to our office soon.

When we have obtained that information from the LAFD Investigators, we will post the updates here.

If perchance you have information central to the investigation you wish to share, we encourage you to contact the LAFD Arson & Counterterrorism Section directly at (213) 485-6095.

Again, thanks for the note, and kindly allow us to suggest this link to information that can help you and your neighbors in the recovery process.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Eric said...

The cause of this fire was not indicated. Has an investigation been performed yet? I moved from this same building back in August, and I remember a fire on the third floor (also contained within just that one unit), and it seemed to be related to the electrical system. I had a little problem with the electrical system in my apartment as well, and now this fire has me wondering whether it was electrically related, too.

That building could be a death trap.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Eric,

Thanks for the note. The cause of the fire remains listed (as of 9:00 AM this morning) as "under investigation". As soon as there is a change in that categorical classification, the post above will be updated.

Though LAFD Investigators did complete a preliminary yet thorough on-site investigation before 10:00 PM last night, they have not yet changed the status from "under investigation".

Such is not uncommon, as there can be additional interviews, scientific analysis of evidence and even a return to the premises before any declarations are made.

While some fires remain undetermined, we remain hopeful that our (very busy) Investigators will get back to us in the next 72 hours, and allow us to share publicly any results of their investigation.

In the meanwhile, the crew at Neighborhood Fire Station 41 and the Battalion 5 Chief that oversees them, remain aware of your concerns, and will be working together with Investigators and building owners, management and residents to enhance the safety and address the concerns of those who who live in the building.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

I live in this building and was home during the fire. I wanted to thank all of the amazing firefighters who quickly put out the fire and am happy no one was hurt. However, I also wanted to note that no alarms went off and the fire doors remained open on the 2nd floor. The helicopters above and a very faint smell of smoke got my attention...though I thought the fire was elsewhere. When I opened my door to leave, I couldn't see anything because of the intense smoke and had to practically crawl on the ground to the emergency exit. I saw a number of figherfighters working on putting out the fire as I left. Just scary that the people up in the helicopters knew about the fire on my floor before I did and I was only around the corner and halfway down the hall from it. I also wanted to say that the electrical sockets in this place are defnitely a mess.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 5:08,

Thanks for the note. Please rest assured that City agencies are working together to both complete the investigation, as well as to address some of the concerns raised by tenants past and present.

As this is a multi-unit apartment building, please contact the Housing Department's Code Enforcement Division directly to share any issue(s) you believe to have been overlooked. You can reach them via this form or by calling (866) 557-7368 or (213) 808-8888 or 3-1-1.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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