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2 Residents, Firefighter Injured in Reseda Blaze

Thursday, December 13, 2007 |

On Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 1:32 AM, 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 93 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief James Gaffney, responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian and Firefighter Injury at 19206 Sherman Way in Reseda.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover fire showing from one first floor unit at "The Menorah House", a large three-story garden style apartment building with a sizeable senior populace.

Swift and decisive action by the first 30 arriving Firefighters confined the flames to the one unit. They extinguished the blaze in just 23 minutes.

As their coworkers skilfully battled the fire, additional teams of Los Angeles Firefighters fanned out through the 33,590 square-foot building to assist and 'shelter in place' more than two dozen senior residents who would have otherwise been fully exposed to smoke and the chilly pre-winter night.

During fire attack, one Firefighter sustained 2nd degree burns to his left forearm. In fair condition, he was transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital.

Following the firefight, numerous residents were evaluated by Firefighters for subjective complaints. Two residents, an oxygen-dependent and mobility impaired man from the unit of fire origin, and a woman from a second floor apartment who sustained smoke exposure, were taken to area hospitals, also in fair condition.

A properly functioning smoke alarm within the apartment of fire origin is credited with awakening a 39 year-old female caregiver, who promptly removed the mobility impaired man from harm.

With her employer's apartment declared untenable, the caretaker was referred to the American Red Cross for placement assistance.

Firefighters later brought in an LAFD stake bed truck to deliver the man's electric wheelchair to the hospital, and were pleased to learn he should survive.

The apartment building was not equipped with fire sprinklers. Loss from the fire is estimated at $75,000 ($50,000 structure & $25,000 contents). The cause of this early-morning blaze remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Anonymous said...

What about the injury to a Firefighter to Truck 26 at a structure fire on the boarder of FS 15 and 13 in the early morning of 12/11/07 ?

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 10:07,

Thanks for the note. The time period you mention appears to be a 'C' Platoon duty day, at which time our office is normally staffed by Firefighter d'Lisa Davies.

Yes, there is only one of us on duty for the full 24-hours at the LAFD Media Desk.

d'Lisa was off-duty that shift, and since Ron Myers ('A' Platoon) and I ('B' Platoon) were not available to work, our superiors made a decision to have 'alternate' staff perform basic functions.

You may have noted these 'new' names in some of the LAFD_ALERT messages, which the substitutes are able to send.

Though these fill-in personnel labored intently, they have limited ability to produce media reports, and no knowledge of blog publishing.

It is also not clear to me at this time that they were aware of the incident you mention.

As you might imagine, there is now a significant backlog of reports and other office tasks for Ron and I to deal with in addition to the 300+ phone calls and nearly 500 e-mails that arrive on any given day.

Please rest assured that we will do our best to investigate and share information regarding the incident you mention. Kindly know however, that not all incidents elevate to the level of blog inclusion, especially if there are no life-threatening injuries, unique aspects to the incident or it does not become a Greater Alarm.

The failure to include a particular incident or event on the LAFD blog does not indicate our neglect or disinterest, but rather the sad reality that we almost always have more work than we can accomplish in a tour of duty, and sometimes other priorities are identified and tasks assigned by our Commanding Officers.

If the stand-in LAFD spokesperson was alert to the incident that morning, and did leave some notes, we will try in earnest to publish it here at our earliest convenience.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact me directly or via 3-1-1

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian maybe the BC or even better the EMS CAPT on those incidents should drop you a line when this happens.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 3:25,

Thanks for the reply and suggestion. We'd be deeply pleased if either wished to give us a call.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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