Man Dies in Eagle Rock Residential Fire

Saturday, November 17, 2007 |

On Friday, November 16, 2007 at 6:19 AM, 17 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 8 Arson Units, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, and 1 CERT Coordinator all under the direction of Battalion Chief Chris Logan responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1977 N. Nolden St. in Eagle Rock.

First arriving Firefighters discovered a two-story single-family home well involved in fire and an adjacent single-family home with fire showing. The fire, located in an area of heavy vegetation had began to extend into the surrounding brush, threatening additional structures. In addition to the heavy volume of fire, Firefighters were receiving reports of two people that were unaccounted for and possibly trapped inside one of the structures.

Firefighting efforts were concentrated on preventing the spread of the fire into adjacent homes and containing the fire to the structures already involved. As these efforts progressed, search and rescue operations were simultaneously conducted in an effort to locate the individuals who were unaccounted for.
After the fire was extinguished, an eighty-four year-old male was discovered inside the gutted home and declared dead at the scene.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office, using a cadaver dog, assisted in searching the structure for the second person reported missing. Fortunately, after a thorough search, the individual returned to the scene and was accounted for unharmed. The cause of the fire and the circumstances surrounding the fatality are under investigation. The dollar loss is still being tabulated. One home was destroyed, one home suffered extensive damage, and on outbuilding was damaged.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Aric said...

I am still finding new items online that I haven't seen before regarding the house fire that killed my friend and housemate (and fellow banjo player) Okie Adams. My name is Aric Leavitt, and I lived with Okie on a temporary basis for several months before the fire which took his life and ravaged my own, leaving me in a state of shock for a whole month afterward. I left the house that November 16 morning unusually early to go to the westside to pick up back mail at the post office and do a lot of errands (all by bus) so I could have the rest of the day to work. I left at 6:07 AM to catch an earlier bus, about ten minutes before the fire struck, according to the reports I got later when I returned to the area a little before 12:30 PM. The rest is academic. I lost a lot of valuable assets, original writings, phone numbers and addresses, even about $500 in cash. It's been difficult putting my life back together after the worst disaster in my entire life (now 59 years young), but I know that God still has a purpose for me or I likely would not have survived. I never wake up at 5:55 AM and leave at 6:07. As a musician and a writer, I'm very much the late morning sleeper because I'm up late at night. My alarm was set to go off at 6:30, by which time the house was engulfed in flames. At 6:25 I saw the huge pillar of smoke from the second bus stop at Eagle Rock/Colorado but had no reason to associate it with our house, since I sensed nothing wrong at the time I walked out the door. Now, as hard as it's been to accept the whole scenario of this tragic event, I would like to mention that Okie told me more than once that he trusted Christ as his Savior (as I do) and firmly believed that when it became his time to leave this earth, he would have no reason to worry since he knew he'd be there with Jesus. That is my way of thinking as well. Okie will truly be missed, and he had a lot of history behind him, including his earlier working knowledge of race cars, then his banjo making expertise. At 84, he was still making them, including one for me. Okie will always be in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. For me, life in this fallen world must go on for now, and I'm presently renting a place in North Hollywood and continuing my quest to get an original screenplay produced for the motion picture screen, as well as to get my first book (now out of print)reissued. My thanks go to all who have helped and encouraged me throughout this crisis. Okie was good to every living thing and even fed the many animals that lived in the vicinity. May this written piece pay some tribute to a man revered by many, even the legendary guitarist Doc Watson. Farewell Okie.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Our condolences on your loss, which we have come to understand was shared by many in the community.

Aric, your sense of pride, purpose and perseverance is heartfelt. We wish you inner peace, wellness and prosperity in the months and years to come.

If perchance you need additional guidance in your road to recovery, please do not hesitate to reach out to the men and women of your Los Angeles Fire Department.

We are pleased to guide you and others experiencing tremendous loss to a multitude of special services, including advocacy, physical and emotional crisis support, referral to health, shelter, senior help and care concerns, disabled and private/public social services.

All of this is but a phone call away (at any hour) by calling 2-1-1 or (800) 339-6993.

Again, our condolences and best wishes.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Aric said...

Thank you, Brian, to you and your team. Your comments bring out extra tears, the cleansing kind. Aric

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