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USFA Releases Report on Clothes Dryer Fires

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 |

Click here to learn more...The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has released a report regarding clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.

Between the years 2002-2004, an annual average of 12,700 clothes dryer fires occurred in residential buildings. These fires were responsible for an estimated 15 civilian fire deaths, 300 civilian fire injuries, and $88 million in property loss each year.

The report, Clothes Dryer Fires in Residential Buildings, was developed by the USFA’s National Fire Data Center as part of its Topical Fire Research Series and is based on data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for 2002-2004.

The report examines the characteristics of clothes dryer fires and provides recommendations for clothes dryer fire safety. To view this six page report:

www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/tfrs/v7i1.pdf (PDF, 669 Kb)


NOTE: Just five days after this report was released, five Firefighters from LAFD's Second Battalion were injured while fiercely battling a residential structure fire sparked by a clothes dryer in Highland Park.



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Explosion Rocks Century City High Rise

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 |

On Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 2:40 PM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief David Yamahata responded to a reported Explosion at 2000 North Avenue of The Stars in Century City.

Dispatchers received several calls reporting an explosion in the kitchen area, on the first floor of a 10-story modern high-rise building. When Firefighters arrived, they observed the high-rise building, which had self evacuated prior to arrival, with "nothing showing".

Firefighters wearing full protective gear, including their "Mini-Radiac" personal radiation detection device, immediately implemented the High-Rise Incident Command system, made access into the building, and took control of the elevators and fire control room.

Additional Firefighters made their way to the kitchen area on the first floor where the explosion was reported to have occurred.

Firefighters discovered moderate damage within the kitchen area from what appeared to be a small explosion. There was no fire, however, there were several individuals who were injured. Firefighters secured the area, and assisted the injured out of the area.

A total of nine people were treated on scene and transported to area hospitals complaining of injuries. Fortunately, all of the injuries appeared to have been minor, ranging from flash burns to bumps and bruises. The injured included three Southern California Gas Company employees.

There was no compromise in structural integrity due to the blast. The cause of the blast has been determined to be an accident related to a natural gas leak. The dollar loss has not been determined.


Submitted by Brian Ballton, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

River 'Cover-Up' No Problem for Firefighters

Friday, January 26, 2007 |

Keeping Los Angeles safe may be our most prominent duty, but the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department feel equally committed to bolstering the quality of life we experience in America's second-largest City.

Among the most prominent natural features of our metropolis is the Los Angeles River, a diverse urban tributary that inspired the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Office of Community Beautification, to commission renowned Los Angeles artist Yuriko Etue for a special project at Aragon Avenue Elementary in Cypress Park.

With his thirty-foot-long 'See a River' mural scheduled for a dramatic unveiling on Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 8:30 AM, the muralist was faced with the challenge of safely and respectfully draping the artwork, which resides more than fifteen feet above ground level.

Enter the members of Los Angeles Fire Station 44 in Cypress Park, who have long taken interest in the school and more recently, Mr. Etue's project.

When the crew learned that a regional home improvement store would be unable to provide the appropriate scaffolding or support team for the artist to safely prepare the curtain for a fanfare-filled debut, they set the wheels in motion to assure everything but the drum-roll before the curtain falls.

Though Neighborhood Firefighters are rarely able to assist with such non-emergency matters, the lead time and open lines of communication offered by Mr. Etue allowed for the proper arrangements to be made, and on Friday afternoon, the aerial ladder truck crew from Fire Station 50 in Glassell Park made time available between fire prevention duties to 'make the magic happen'.

According to one Fire Captain, it was a remarkable opportunity for his crew to be associated with a new community treasure, to practice working delicately near works of art, and most importantly, assuring safety in what could have been a calamitous preparation for the following days event.

Thanks to Firefighters, the large gray curtain is now safely in place, and we hope that you will join off-duty Firefighters and their families for the much anticipated unveiling of 'See a River':

Saturday, January 27, 2007
8:30 AM
Aragon Avenue Elementary School
1118 Aragon Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90065


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Burned Body Found on Street in Playa Del Rey

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On Friday, January 26, 2007 at 2:06 PM, one Company of Los Angeles Firefighters, five Arson Investigators and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of twelve Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Reagan, responded to a Civilian Death With Fire Involvement near 8124 Tuscany Avenue in Playa Del Rey.

Responding to initial reports of a 'Rubbish Fire' from callers who smelled something burning, Firefighters arrived quickly to find a person ablaze in the street of the normally quiet residential neighborhood.

The smoldering remains of what appeared to be an adult female were quickly extinguished, and the person determined deceased.

Firefighters quickly covered the body and cordoned off the immediate area pending the arrival of Los Angeles Police and Fire Department Investigators, who will be jointly investigating the incident.

A positive identification of the woman, as well as the exact cause, time and manner of her death will be determined by Coroner's officials.

(video)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Air and Ground Assault Quickly Tackles Bel Air Fire

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On Friday, January 26, 2007 at 1:32 AM, fourteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one Arson Unit, three LAFD Helicopters, one Water Tender, one EMS Battalion Captain, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 86 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Lawrence Schneider, responded to a Brush Fire near 1231 North Bel Air Road in Bel Air.

The first arriving Firefighters, responding to a geographically vague call from remote Stone Canyon, were deftly guided to the distant blaze by the first of three LAFD Helicopters to arrive on-scene.

As the Fire Department's aerial reconnaissance and command support airship coordinated the ground response and illuminated the locale with its 30-million candlepower spotlight, it was soon joined by a pair of larger water-dropping LAFD helicopters that commenced a synchronous aerial attack on the flames, which briefly threatened three homes atop the steep canyon.

Arriving in windless conditions to find one-quarter acre of thick, highly flammable vegetation burning in a nearly vertical canyon, the first thirty arriving Firefighters skillfully anchored the flames, working in concert with their airborne colleagues to limit fire spread to less than one acre and fully extinguish the flames in less than 45 minutes.

No structures were damaged. There were no injuries or evacuations.

Firefighters who remained on scene checking for hot-spots into the early morning hours, were quick to credit the vigilant neighbor who first reported the fire, and offered praise to residents of the Bel Air community for their willing compliance with the City's strict year-round brush clearance requirements.

The cause of this early morning blaze remains under active investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Teen Struck and Killed by Metro Blue Line Train

Thursday, January 25, 2007 |

Shortly before 3:45 PM on Thursday, January 25, 2007, a 15 year-old male riding a non-powered scooter reportedly placed himself in the path of a southbound Metro Blue Line train near 92nd Street and Graham Avenue at the Watts / Walnut Park border.

The Long Beach-bound light rail vehicle was unable to stop before striking the boy, who was pulseless and non-breathing on the near simultaneous arrival of Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department Paramedics, whose jurisdictions border the incident.

The boy was transported in grave condition via LAFD Paramedic Ambulance to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood.

Despite the joint efforts of LAFD and LACoFD personnel and hospital staff, the boy was declared deceased shortly after hospital arrival.

No other injuries were reported.

The cause of this incident remains under investigation by Los Angeles Police Officers and Sheriff's Deputies, as well as MTA officials.

A positive identification of the decedent, as well as the exact cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by Coroner's officials.

(video)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Bloggers Applaud New LA Times Website

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The media and public relations staff at the Los Angeles Fire Department extend their congratulations to The Los Angeles Times webteam for their recently debuted MyLATimes website.

Now in a beta-test phase, the new site offers customizable views and the ability to 'drag-and-drop' news modules around a virtual on-line newspaper.

Along with The Times traditional on-line content, visitors can now add a custom LAFD News & Information module among their favorite headlines. We encourage you to give it a try.

Visit: http://my.latimes.com/add_content/user_feeds

...and then copy the link below into the 'Enter URL' form:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/LAFD


Click 'Add' and voila!

We hope you will take a look at their new site, and join us in a respectful tip o' the helmet to their behind-the-scenes staff who made the quantum leap in technology possible.

If you would like to add the LAFD News Feed to your favorite personal start page, RSS Reader or aggregator software, simply click here. To learn more about the Los Angeles Fire Department's RSS News Feed, please visit our on-line tutorial at:

www.feedpass.com/LAFD



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Hollywood Hills Conflagration Averted By Firefighters

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 |

On Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 5:12 PM, nineteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Arson Units, three Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Rehab Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, three Helicopters, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Terrance Manning responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 8150 W. Kirkwood Dr. in the Hollywood Hills.

Firefighters responding to a reported structure fire in the Hollywood Hills requested additional firefighting companies before arriving on scene due to a large "loom-up" in the area. Due to the high fire danger, pre-deployed Fire Engines and water dropping helicopters were immediately dispatched to augment the initial structure fire assignment.

First arriving Firefighters immediately encountered a two-story, single-family hillside home, with heavy fire showing. In addition, homes on both sides were being threatened by fire and in danger of igniting. Firefighters immediately deployed the "Wagon Battery" , master stream appliance mounted on top of the Fire Engine to provide a protective water curtain between the burning structure and the nearest exposures.

Additional Firefighters, using handlines, were able to access the burning structure and begin to aggressively attack the fire. The Los Angeles Fire Department committed over 130 Firefighters including nineteen fire companies, three water dropping helicopters, and a complement of support and command staff to assist in the fire fight to protect the community from the spreading flames. Due to the narrow roads and an array of cars, both legally and illegally parked along the roadways, the additional Fire Companies experienced extreme difficulty navigating their way into the neighborhood to assist their comrades.

Fortunately, even though the potential for a major conflagration existed, the lack of wind and the proactive pre-deployment of Fire resources, provided Firefighters with the margin of time needed to get the additional Firefighters on scene. Had the wind been blowing, and Firefighters would have encountered these same navigational problems, the outcome could have had been disastrous. This incident serves as a vivid reminder as to why the City has recently enacted the "Red Flag/No Parking" restrictions in high hazard locations of the City.

The cause of the fire and the estimated dollar loss is still under investigation and has yet to be determined. The homeowner suffered a minor hand injury, was evaluated and released on scene.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Two Found Dead In Residential Structure Fire

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On Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 5:59 AM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three Arson Units, one EMS Battalion Captain, and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief John Nowell responded to a Structure Fire With Civilian Fatalities at 10441 N. Danube Ave. in Mission Hills.

Los Angeles Police Officers patrolling the neighborhood discovered heavy smoke emitting from a single-story, single-family residence. The Police Officers immediately requested Fire Department resources and kicked in the front door in an effort to notify any occupants within the home. Due to immense heat, the Officers were unable to enter the home. The Officers then opened the garage door and immediately had a large dog bolt past them to safety. Unfortunately, three puppies had already perished in the smoke laden area.

Firefighters arrived on scene to find a large volume of fire blowing out of the rear of the house. As Firefighters, fully clad in their Personal Protective Equipment, made entry to the inside of the structure, fellow firefighters ascended to the roof to conduct vertical ventilation operations. Firefighters on the roof, upon cutting a ventilation hole, reported heavy fire in the attic.

It took 40 Firefighters just 20 minutes to knock down the fire and control the incident. The bulk of the fire was contained to the room of origin and the attic above. During the Search and Rescue phase of this incident, the charred remains of two individuals were discovered. Due to the condition of the bodies there was no identification or indication as to age or gender.

The cause of the fire as well as the circumstances surrounding the fatalities remains under investigation by the LAPD, LAFD Arson investigators, and the L.A. Coroner's office. The loss is estimated at $225,000 ($200,000 Structure & $25,000 Contents).

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Helicopter Sent To Thousand Oaks Brush Fire

Monday, January 22, 2007 |

Pursuant of two separate Mutual Aid Requests, the Los Angeles Fire Department first assigned one water-dropping Helicopter and later one Strike Team of ground-based Firefighters to the Ventura County Fire Department in their battle against a wind-driven brush fire near Hampshire Road and Foothill Drive in Thousand Oaks, California west of our City.

These twenty-four members of the Los Angeles Fire Department were dispatched to the wildfire in accordance with California's Fire & Rescue Emergency Mutual Aid System, administered by the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. The system is designed to ensure that additional resources are provided to local jurisdictions whenever their own resources are committed or insufficient for a specific emergency incident.

The City of Los Angeles remains fully protected by the use of additional staff and reserve apparatus to cover foreseeable local needs, and we remind Los Angeles residents that these resources can be recalled to our City as necessary.

The men and women of the LAFD ask motorists to remain watchful for these and other convoys of emergency apparatus, and to be mindful of the space necessary for them to safely maneuver on local roads and highways.

Pursuant of protocol, all public and media information regarding this incident, including the actions of assigned LAFD personnel, will be provided by the Ventura County Fire Department, which maintains daily jurisdictional authority of the area where the fire is burning.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Three Bungalows Heavily Damaged In North Hollywood Fire

Sunday, January 21, 2007 |

On Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 3:38 AM, fourteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 97 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Alfred Hernandez, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 13125 Vanowen Street in North Hollywood.



Firefighters responding to reports of a vegetation fire arrived quickly to discover heavy fire in the attic of a three unit courtyard-style one-story series of bungalows, threatening a pair two story apartments to the east and west. Firefighters using handlines mounted a swift offense, confining the fire to the three one-story structures and extinguishing the flames in just 27 minutes.

Three civilians were assessed for smoke inhalation and medical complaints, with only one 18 year-old male desirous of further treatment. He was taken to Kaiser Hospital in Panorama City in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.

One Firefighter sustained minor 1st and 2nd degree burns to his hand while conducting vertical ventilation operations on the roof. The Firefighter was transported to a local hospital in stable condition. No other injuries were reported.

All three units suffered extensive damage and were declared uninhabitable. Loss from the fire is estimated at $375,000 ($300,000 structure & $75,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze is listed as undetermined and remains under active investigation.

(video)

Submitted by Ron Myers/Brian Humphrey, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Helicopter Crews: Making a Difference Every Day

Saturday, January 20, 2007 |

Saturday, January 20, 2007 was a busy day for the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department, including those assigned to LAFD Air Operations, who handled a trio of air ambulance runs in little more than ninety minutes. Earlier in the day, they had been part of a high-rise structure fire assignment in the Miracle Mile. To them, it was a day like many others...

At 1:22 PM, ground- and helicopter-based Los Angeles Firefighters responded to the rugged urban wildlands of Topanga State Park, where a 35 year-old male had reportedly fallen from a rope swing near a popular waterfall. Witnesses had at first attempted to carry or assist the man to medical care, but with a fractured right tibia and fibula (the lower leg bones), his pain and skeletal deformity precluded their effort. Spotted by the smaller of two LAFD helicopters serving the combined role of reconnaissance, command support and safety observation, the would-be rescuers quickly acceded care to the ground-based crews and later Flight Paramedics who smoothly hoisted the man aboard the quad-rotored air ambulance for the six minute flight to the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, shaving more than 40 minutes - and a great deal of pain, from a typical ground transport to the world-renowned facility.

At 2:05 PM, Los Angeles County Lifeguards summoned LAFD assistance near the popular Gladstone's Malibu Restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, where they had discovered a 38 year-old local woman and non-patron of the restaurant, who had fallen approximately 10' feet onto some riprap at the Pacific shore. Ground-based LAFD Firefighter/Paramedics worked together with the Lifeguards to medically stabilize the woman, who had sustained significant head trauma in her fall against the sharp rocks. With an altered level of consciousness and in steep decline, the next available LAFD Air Ambulance was summoned. As LAFD Paramedics and Lifeguards completed the woman's extrication, wound care and stabilization, she was placed into the cargo area of a Lifeguard patrol vehicle for the short ride southward to the parking lot of a beach club, where Firefighters had secured a landing zone, and the LAFD Helicopter waited to 'hot load' the critically injured patient for her six minute flight to the Trauma Center at UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.

At 3:00 PM, the LAFD Air Ambulance crew from the earlier waterfall rescue was requested at the scene of a traffic collision in the 20800 block of Ventura Boulevard, in Woodland Hills, where a seven year-old boy properly secured in the rear of his grandparents sedan was critically injured when their car was impacted severely by another motorist. The Paramedic-staffed Engine Company from the Neighborhood Fire Station had arrived quickly on the scene, and as the veteran Firefighter/Paramedic began his assessment, he turned to his Captain and matter-of-factly asked for an Air Ambulance. Were it not for the message conveyed solely by eye contact between the men, a bystander might have thought little of the request - but both men in an instant knew the clock was ticking. Earning the confidence of the boy, the Paramedic-trained Firefighter looked beyond the obvious injuries to find the boy guarding his abdominal region. Soon, his clean yet calloused fingers were gently reaffirming his worst suspicion: an increasingly rigid abdomen indicative of internal bleeding. The boy needed a pediatric critical care center, yet in what is often a surprise to Los Angeles residents, there is no such medical facility in the 243 square-mile San Fernando Valley. The nearest such hospital by ground was UCLA, but even then a potentially 45-minute drive. Then again, that hospital had just taken a barrage of critical patients. The next option? Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in distant Hollywood, an ambulance trip that could take nearly an hour. An hour this boy didn't have. Not to worry, the Captain told the grandparents, "We're going to make sure your grandson gets the best possible care right away". It wasn't long after his calm reassurance that the roar of the LAFD Bell 412 helicopter was heard overhead, as the boy and grandmother were loaded into an LAFD ambulance for the short trip to a nearby athletic field for their safe transfer to the helicopter, which in seven short minutes, would have them in the world-class care of pediatric physicians.

The men and women of the LAFD are proud to have these helicopters and their crews available to serve residents of Los Angeles around-the-clock on a moments notice. We are both blessed and grateful that our City's elected leaders understand the importance of our multi-role air fleet and staff, and that every member of our Department from our Firefighter/Dispatchers to our Chief Officers, are well-versed in their abilities.

Most of all, we are grateful for the tremendous support of the people of Los Angeles, who insist we always have the tools and training necessary to make the magic happen.

When you see the familiar red and white Los Angeles Fire Department helicopters flying overhead, don't hesitate to wave. While you might not be able to see us wave back, you're certain to bring a smile to the crews that are making a difference in our community each and every day.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Dermatology Laser Sparks High Rise Office Fire

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On Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 10:17 AM, twenty-one Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, two LAFD Helicopters, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 128 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Fred Mathis responded to a Highrise Fire at 6200 Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile.

Firefighters responding to a reported fire in a high rise medical office building were met curbside by Security Officers who confirmed alarm and fire sprinkler activation on the twelfth floor of the seventeen story structure.

LAFD personnel took prompt control of the building by securing the lobby, stairwells, fire control room and key building systems as pursuant of protocol, Fire Department helicopters were being staffed remotely as 'Airborne Engine Companies'.

Firefighters carrying as much as 100 pounds of equipment each climbed 24 flights of stairs to access a fire held in check by a single fire sprinkler in a twelfth floor medical office.

According to witnesses, a hand-held high-powered medical laser device being prepared for use in a dermatology procedure was placed upon and ignited an examination table. The staff tried in vain to extinguish the flames with a portable fire extinguisher before the fire sprinkler activated to hold the flames in check.

The fire was declared extinguished in just seventeen minutes.

There were no injuries to Firefighters, or the more than one dozen occupants who calmly and properly evacuated the fire floor in advance of the Fire Department's arrival.

Following extinguishment, dozens of Firefighters worked for more than two hours assisting building staff with three inches of water removal from office of fire origin, and collateral water impact on the 8th through 11th floors.

Fire loss was limited to $200,000 ($50,000 structure & $150,000 contents). The cause of the blaze is categorized as accidental, and attributed to carelessness with the heat producing medical laser device.

(video)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Woman Pinned Under Out of Control Car Dies

Friday, January 19, 2007 |

On Friday, January 19, 2007 at 0:27 PM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue, one EMS Battalion Captain, and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Mark Stormes responded to a Auto vs. Pedestrian at Winona Boulevard and Franklin Avenue in Hollywood.

Firefighters and Paramedics arrived to find an automobile driven by a 50 year-old woman, which had collided into the side of an apartment building while attempting to park. Prior to colliding with the building, the vehicle ran over an elderly woman who was walking by, pinning her under the car. The woman and her husband had been walking on the sidewalk at the time of the collision. Due to massive head and chest trauma, the woman was declared deceased at the scene. Her husband, though traumatized by the incident was unharmed physically.

Firefighters, Paramedics, and Police Officers on scene immediately recognized the gravity of the situation and the enormous suffering of the grieving husband, requested the assistance of the Crisis Response Team (C-R-T). Firefighters and Paramedics remained on scene until the arrival of the CRT, twenty minutes later. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

(video)


Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Valley Streets Flooded When Water Main Ruptures

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Appreciating Subtle Elevation. © Photo by Juan Guerra CFPA.The sudden rupture of a 33-inch water main during a period of freezing temperatures brought Los Angeles Firefighters to the 12000 block of Cantara Street in North Hollywood, California on January 18, 2007.

An LAFD dump truck and skiploader joined Neighborhood Firefighters in the quick and effective creation of sand barriers to divert rising water from dozens of homes and into the area's drainage system.

(video) (images)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Swift-Moving Pacoima Fire Causes $105,000 Damage

Thursday, January 18, 2007 |

On Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 11:22 PM, eleven Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Emergency Air Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 86 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Ronnie Villanueva, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 13700 Filmore Street in Pacoima.

Firefighters arrived quickly during a period of erratic winds to find a converted garage living space and adjacent storage sheds well involved, with flames threatening buildings on all three sides.

As additional Fire Department resources were summoned, first arriving Firefighters aggressively tackled the flames, minimizing fire spread by protecting threatened structures.

The flames were confined to the structures of origin and extinguished in just twenty-seven minutes.

No injuries were reported.

Loss from the fire was limited to $105,000 ($80,000 structure and $25,0000 contents).

Though there were no displaced occupants, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety was requested to investigate illegally converted living areas.

The cause of this late night fire remains undetermined.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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Fireplace Log-Handling Destroys Silver Lake Home

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On Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 9:02 PM, eleven Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Hazardous Materials Squad, three LAFD Helicopters, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 121 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 2131 Baxter Street in the Echo Park area near Silver Lake.

Firefighters responded swiftly to the well-established neighborhood with a reputation for having among the steepest streets in Los Angeles, to find a vegetation shrouded cliffside home fully ablaze.

Due to wind and highly flammable vegetation throughout the community, a trio of LAFD Helicopters were summoned for aerial reconnaissance, command support and water dropping capabilities as ground-based Firefighters navigated the narrow streets to commence a brisk assault on the well-entrenched flames.

Making an Entrance. © Photo by Ryan Ling EPNAble to first access only one side of the 85 year-old wood-frame home due to precipitous terrain, Firefighters limited the lateral spread of fire to vegetation as they quickly flanked the fully involved structure and began an all-out attack on the flames.

A simultaneous search effort was soon curtailed, when it was determined that the home's sole occupant had escaped prior to the Fire Department's arrival. The woman's dialogue with Firefighters smartly guided salvage efforts as LAFD Paramedics evaluated her for possible smoke exposure.

According to the 69 year-old resident, she had been home alone tending to the fireplace in the lower portion of her split-level home before the fire erupted.

After using a pair of barbeque-type gloves to reposition burning logs, the legally-blind woman set the gloves upon an upholstered sofa, not realizing they were ablaze.

Despite the room - and a great portion of the home - erupting in flames, the woman was able to escape with minimal injury. Following her on-site medical assessment by LAFD Paramedics, she was transported in fair condition to Glendale Memorial Hospital for evaluation of minor smoke inhalation.

No other injuries were reported.

The Aftermath of Carelessness. © Photo by Harry Garvin.Though the home was equipped with smoke alarms, their functional status and role in warning the woman could not be immediately determined. The home was also equipped with regulation compliant window security bars, that were neither a factor nor an impediment to the woman's escape from the 1,731 square-foot home, which was destroyed by the blaze.

Monetary loss is still being tabulated. The cause of the fire is categorized as accidental, and is attributed to the woman's carelessness with fire.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Man Trapped When Vehicle Tumbles Off Mulholland Drive

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On Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 2:24 PM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, two LAFD Helicopters, one EMS Battalion Captain, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 42 Los Angeles Firefighters, under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West responded to a vehicle over a cliff with entrapment near 9787 West Donington Place in the Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles.

Jaguar in the Abyss. © Photo by Ryan Ling EPN.Summoned by 9-1-1 callers who witnessed a Jaguar sedan plunge down a steep brush covered hillside alongside winding Mulholland Drive, Firefighters responded both above and below the site in a search for persons injured.

Aided by the aerial reconnaissance of a Firefighter/Pilot aboard an LAFD Helicopter, Firefighters were soon able to commence the 100 yard trek from below that offered them best access.

Sprinting up the hillside in waist high brush, Firefighters discovered the 70 year-old driver and sole occupant of the vehicle trapped in fuel-soaked wreckage, which amazingly did not catch fire.

Crawling into the dangerous confines of the mangled sedan as their fire extinguisher-toting colleagues stood by, Firefighters made contact with and offered reassurance to the physically trapped septuagenarian, who had sustained serious chest injuries.

Steady Over The Canyon. © Photo by Michael Corral.Given the life-threatening nature of his injuries, a Firefighter/Paramedic was lowered by cable from an LAFD Air Ambulance steadily hovering 75 feet above, and was soon working alongside his ground-based colleagues to extricate, treat and prepare the man for rapid transport.

The critically injured man was placed in a litter basket stretcher, and along with the flight crew Paramedic, quickly hoisted aboard the Bell 412 twin-turbine rotorcraft for the four minute flight to the Trauma Center at the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.

No other injuries were reported.

The man's use of seat belts and the presence, activation or effect of supplemental restraint systems were not immediately determined by Firefighters. The cause of the incident remains under active investigation by Los Angeles Police officials.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Encourages Cold Weather Protection for Pets

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 |

While our primary focus is on people, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department are fond of pets. They're equally fond of The Partnership for Animal Welfare, a Maryland-based non-profit that is the home to Robin's Pet Tips, a wonderful resource for those who own, or in our case, may be called to work with or near companion animals.

Given the bitter cold in many parts of our nation, Robin has kindly given us permission to share some of her tips for the cold weather protection of pets.

Cold Weather Protection for Pets

Following are timely tips to protect pets in cold weather.

Before, during and after walks and outdoor exercise:

* Coats and booties can help your dog stay warm. In particular, short-haired or elderly dogs benefit from wearing a coat or sweater. Look for coats or sweaters with high collars or a turtleneck that covers the dog from the base of the tail on top to the belly underneath.

* Remember to be very careful with sick or older dogs, since they are more sensitive to cold weather. For any dog sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

* Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If necessary, papertrain your puppy inside if he appears to be sensitive to the weather.

* Clip the fur between toe pads to reduce the amount of snow that collects between toes.

* To help protect dry, sensitive paws, try coating them with a bit of cooking spray before walks in very cold weather.

* During deep snows, shovel out a potty spot for your dog.

* Upon returning home, wipe snow and ice off your dog's feet, legs and belly. Little ice cubes can form in the sensitive spaces between the toes and toe-pads. Remove the ice carefully with your fingers since it may cling to the hairs between the paws. Wiping off your dog will remove any salt, antifreeze or other harmful chemicals that she could ingest them when licking her paws.

* Consider keeping a container of warm water and cloths by the door for use after walks. It is good to rinse the paws before you wipe them dry, because lime rock salt and calcium chloride salt can irritate the foot pads and cause vomiting and diarrhea when licked. Dunking in the water will also dissolve ice and remove mud.

* Many de-icing and ice-melting products are toxic. Read the labels of any projects you use, and store these products in tight containers.

* Even brief exposure to sub-zero temperatures can lead to frostbite of the feet, nose or ears. Frost-bitten skin appears red, gray or whitish and may peel off. Prevent frostbite by removing ice and snow from paws and fur right away. If you suspect frostbite, take your pet to a warm place and thaw out frostbitten areas slowly by applying warm, moist towels. Change them frequently. Continue until the affected areas become flushed. Then contact a veterinarian for further care.

* Do not be tempted to let dogs off leash in snow or ice. Canines often lose their scent in cold weather and can become lost. Dogs also can panic in snow storms and run away. The decreased daylight does not help either. More dogs are reported lost during the winter than any other season, so always keep dogs on leash when outside a fully fenced yard and make sure yours always wears proper identification.

Winter pet care:

* Brush your dog vigorously and regularly. The air in most houses becomes dry during the colder months, which depletes moisture from dog skin and fur. Brushing improves skin, coat and circulation.

* A thick-coated dog typically needs grooming in cold weather. The fur can get wet and matted, making it an irritant. Clean fur lofts and holds air in a manner similar to layering clothes, thus helping the animal stay warm.

* Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. Leave the coat longer for more warmth. When you bathe your dog, completely dry him before taking him out for a walk.

* Use fatty acid supplements during the winter, ideally starting several weeks before cold weather sets in, to help skin and coat.

* If your dog engages in a lot of outdoor activities, increase his food supply to help keep his coat thick and healthy.

Safety measures:

* Do not leave antifreeze, coolant or windshield wiper fluid within reach. And do not let pets drink from puddles. These products taste appealing to pets but most are lethal to animals when ingested. So thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle. Also, keep your pets on leash outdoors and steer them far away from any suspect puddles.

Consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Some companies offer non-toxic antifreeze products. Be sure to have your radiator flushed before you fill it with non-toxic antifreeze and do not mix it with traditional antifreeze.

* Keep a winter survival kit in your car. Include blankets, towels, water, bowl, first aid kit, and a sign that dog is in the car.

* Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. The animal can freeze to death. Of course, do not leave animals, or children, in cars during very warm weather either.

* Cats left outdoors and wild animals sometimes climb onto car engines or beneath cars to seek warmth. Please bang on the hood of your care honk the horn before starting the engine to warn cats away.

In-home health and safety:

* Provide your companion animal with a warm place to sleep, away from drafts and off the floor. Dog and cat beds with a warm blanket or pillow are especially cozy.

* If you know people who keep dogs in basements or tiled rooms, remind them that tile and uncarpeted areas can get very cold.

* The dryness in our homes can make animals more susceptible to problems such as dry noses, upper respiratory infections, dandruff, itchy skin, hair texture changes, dry throats and more. Some tips:

Use a humidifier. Consider a model that humidies and purifies the air.
Add skin conditioners to the diet. Get them from internet and other merchants who sell quality health products.

* Portable heaters and fireplaces can be deadly hazards for animals and children. Screen fireplaces and put portable heaters out of their reach. Do not run portable heaters when you are not there to monitor them; each year, a number of house fires start this way.

Emergencies:

* To avoid injuries, hypothermia and drowning, don't let dogs or kids venture onto frozen ponds.

* If your dog falls through ice into water, heed this guidance about drowning from Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, Dog Fancy writer and author of First Aid for Dogs:

If the dog is limp, unconscious or unresponsive, wrap him in a towel. Keep the neck and back immobilized to avoid aggravation of possible spinal injury. Place the dog on a flat board for transporting.

If the dog is not breathing, lay her on flat on his right side. Make several quick compressions to his chest to expel water, then feel for a heartbeat just behind the left elbow. If there's a heartbeat, but the dog is still not breathing, check the back of his throat for obstructions.

If you feel no obstruction, close the dog's muzzle by firmly encircling it with your hand. Put the dog's tongue in his mouth first so he doesn't bite it. Then, blow into his nose. Adjust the force of your breath to the size of dog. Watch for rise of his chest, and keep checking for a heartbeat.

If you can't feel a heartbeat, make one or two quick firm compressions on the chest wall with both of your palms flat on top of each other, and begin artificial respiration. Blow about 15 breaths followed by a chest compression. Continue until the dog regains consciousness, respiration and heartbeat return, or until emergency assistance takes over.

* Speak with your veterinarian about medical remedies that can help animals recover from injury, fright, illness, travel fatigue and irritation.

* If you see an animal in distress, please call your local humane society right away. It doesn't take long for companion animals to suffer and fall victim to severe winter weather. Frostbite occurs when the fluids in tissues freeze, frequently on the tips of the ears, paws or pads, flanks and belly. Hypothermia, which can lead to death, occurs when the animal's body temperature drops significantly below normal, causing the bodily systems to shut down. Furthermore, pets left outside are deprived of water, since water freezes at 32 degrees.

Leaving pets outdoors:

* If you know anyone who keeps pets outdoors, persuade them to bring them inside. Low temperatures, winds and precipitation can lead to illness and death. In addition, water bowls freeze in cold weather.

* Remember, dogs are domesticated animals who should live indoors with their people. Living outside in a dog house is a sad life, especially in cold, hot and wet weather.

* Please keep cats inside. Felines who spend time outside can freeze, or get lost or injured.

* Dog houses and the law: Local laws typically require that if dogs are kept outdoors, the owner must supply the dog with "proper" shelter from the weather, which includes a dog house big enough to stand up in and to permit posture positions that allow the dog to stretch out and stand up, but must not be oversized, since the dog needs to retain body heat; a wind flap on the dog house door; nonporous bedding such as straw; and, access to fresh, unfrozen water.

* If you see a dog in need of a caring friend, become that dog's advocate. Speak with the owner, and if that fails to improve the situation, contact your local SPCA, humane society of animal control office.

* For free information to use to educate pet owners and others who keep animals in cold or neglectful conditions, see the Related Links below.

Related Links:

First Aid Techniques and First Aid Kit Supplies:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_FirstAid.php

If you know of a companion animal kept outdoors or in other inhumane conditions:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_HelpingAbusedAnimals.php

Backyard Dog, Outdoor Dog: Facts, Guidance, Solutions
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_BackyardDogs.php

Note: Some tips courtesy of Brenda Beck, President of Pets and Animals in Distress in Fort Lauderdale; The Healthy Animal Update newsletter; and other sources.

Robin's Dog Tips can be used only for nonprofit, educational use. If you'd like to share or respost these and her other helpful tips, please contact Robin directly.


Thanks Robin, for allowing us to share these tips. Now that our four-legged friends are ready for winter, we hope you'll take the time to keep all members of your family safe by practicing home heating and winter fire safety.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Hiding Under Our Desks or Hiding From The Truth?

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If you called our office at 11:00 AM this morning, my voice might have sounded a bit muffled. You see, on this 13th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, I joined 36,666 other City employees in practicing 'Duck, Cover and Hold'.

Though the drill was soon over, I spent the next hour asking several media callers and members of the public what they will do when the earth starts shaking.

Their answers might surprise you.

Fewer than one-in-ten knew exactly what to do. Most mistakenly said they would stand in a doorway or run outside.

Far fewer could confidently say they were prepared for the eventuality of an earthquake.

So what of you?

OK, let's make it our little secret. Please get a round tuit!


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Mickey Mouse Would Be Proud of These Pack "RAT" Conditions

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 |

On Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 1:31 PM, twelve Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Hazardous Materials Team, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Fred Mathis responded to a Structure Fire at 1024 Crescent Heights Bl. in Pico-Robertson.

Firefighters arrived to find a 2-story duplex apartment with fire showing from the second floor. An aggressive interior fire attack was immediately initiated in an effort to prevent the fire from spreading within the structure and consuming the entire building. During the fire fight, firefighters encountered severe pack-rat conditions which made operating within the structure extremely difficult.

The sole occupant, an 83 year-old female, was using both units, upstairs and downstairs, to store head high piles of objects and materials including stacks of newspapers over 50 years old. Firefighters had to crawl and navigate their way into the units to conduct search and rescue operations as well as locate the seat of the fire.

It took almost 100 Firefighters twenty-three minutes to gain control of the blaze. The bulk of the fire was confined to the kitchen and attic area of one unit.

During the fire, 1 Firefighter sustained a small second-degree burn to his chest when melting aluminum dripped from ceiling lights and found it's way inside his turnout coat. The Firefighter was transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital and placed off duty.

The occupant, an 83 year-old female, was transported to Cedars Sinai hospital in stable condition suffering from smoke inhalation. The preliminary cause is listed as electrical, however, the fire remains under investigation. The estimated dollar loss is $150,000 ( $110,000 Structure and $40,000 Contents).

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Arson Used In Attempt to Cover Murder

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On Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 5:23 AM, seven Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three Arson Units, and one EMS Battalion Captain, under the direction of Battalion Chief Christopher Kawai responded to a Structure Fire With Civilian Fatality at 1341 N. Poinsettia Pl. in Hollywood.

Firefighters responding to a reported structure fire discovered 3 small, intentionally set fires within one unit of a 2-story apartment complex. While extinguishing the fires, firefighters discovered the body of a 60 year-old woman who had suffered fatal stab wounds, she was declared deceased within the apartment. A male suspect, apparently the victims boyfriend, was apprehended on scene by Police Officers and transported by Paramedics to a local hospital complaining of chest pain.

The cause of the fire was determined to be "Arson to cover up a Murder". The dollar loss is estimated at $35,000 ($25,000 Structure and $10,000 Contents).



Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Natural Gas Leak Finds Flame... Restaurant Explodes

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On January 13, 2007, at 2:05 A.M., a cadre of 30 Firefighters under the direction of Battalion Chief Randy Beaty responded to 7806 1/2 S. San Pedro St. in South Central Los Angeles. Firefighters found a 10' X 25' structure well involved with fire. Indications that and explosion had occurred were immediately recognized, as evidenced by the walls of the structure leaning and bulging outward and glass scattered throughout the street. Eyewitnesses reported hearing a large explosion and debris being thrown throughout the area.

Arriving companies, recognizing the immediate life hazards associated with the damaged building, quickly implemented a defensive strategy. The primary focus of the fire fight was to protect the Firefighters, prevent the spread of fire to nearby structures, and extinguish the fire without entering the compromised structure.

The occupant was doing business as "El Triunfo" Fast Food Restaurant. The cause was ruled as accidental; a natural gas leak igniting on a stove pilot light. Loss was estimated as $60K to structure, $15K to contents. The compromised walls were carefully dismantled during overhaul as all hazards were removed. No injuries were reported. There was some minor collateral damage to a nearby home and a power-pole.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighter Struck By Vehicle While Rendering Aid

Sunday, January 14, 2007 |

On Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 1:13 AM, six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one EMS Battalion Captain, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 49 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West responded to a series of Traffic Collisions in which one Firefighter was injured, on the southbound lanes of the San Diego (405) Freeway south of Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Responding to a multi-vehicle collision with entrapment, Firefighters utilized the physical presence of a Fire Engine and its warning lights to provide protection as they commenced triage and extrication of the injured parties during a rare period of freezing temperatures.

Firefighters Render Care to Injured. Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...


Preliminary reports indicate that as Firefighters rendered aid to those involved in the aforementioned collision, an approaching motorist lost control of their vehicle, which came to rest near a parked LAFD Engine.

As the Engineer who operated the heavy apparatus went to care for the motorist and lead them to safety, other vehicles collided before striking the Engineer and the earlier disabled car in 'icy conditions'.

Firefighter Struck By Vehicle While Rendering Aid. Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...


The 34 year-old male, a six-year LAFD veteran, clad in safety attire, sustained facial trauma, including a fractured nose, and was briefly knocked unconscious.

Firefighter Struck By Vehicle While Rendering Aid. Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...


He was transported in fair condition to the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he was expected to remain for observation.

Firefighter Provide Care to Injured Motorist. Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...


Of the seven civilian motorists involved, only two required ambulance transport to area hospitals. Their conditions were not immediately available.

This series of traffic collisions is being investigated by California Highway Patrol Officers. The detailed circumstances involving the injury to the Fire Engineer remain the focus of a formal Los Angeles Fire Department investigation.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Aircraft Crash Kills 2 near Van Nuys Airport

Friday, January 12, 2007 |

On Friday, January 12, 2007 at 10:54 AM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Rehab Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, one Helicopter, two EMS Battalion Captains, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, one Mobile Command Post, Crash and Foam Carrier 114, and the Emergency Light Utility, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Terrance Manning responded to an Aircraft Crash near Hayvenhurst Avenue and Chase Street just north of Van Nuys Airport in Van Nuys.

The LAFD Firefighter/Dispatchers received multiple calls reporting that a plane had crashed just north of the Van Nuys Airport, erupting into a massive ball of fire.

Firefighters complete extinguishment of burning debris. Photo by jomariphotography. Click to view more...


Airport Crash rigs and local Firefighters reported a large "loom-up" or column of smoke as soon as they left quarters. Upon arriving at the scene of the crash, Crash 114 immediately began applying voluminous amounts of firefighting foam while additional firefighters used hoselines to control and extinguish the blaze.

Fortunately, even though the plane, with a full load of aviation fuel, had crashed into a residential neighborhood, it managed to crash into a vacant lot and no homes were struck or damaged.

No one on the ground was injured or killed. Several vehicles were destroyed in the impact and ensuing fire.

After extinguishing the fire, Firefighters searched the wreckage for survivors. No survivors were found, however, two individuals were declared deceased within the plane.

Firefighters complete extinguishment of burning debris. Photo by Juan Guerra CFPA. Click to view more...


According to the flight tower, the 1996 Cessna Citation 525 was flying with two individuals on board. Early indications are that the plane suffered a failure on takeoff, was unable to recover, and crashed with no survivors.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the FAA, NTSB, and a variety of other regulating bodies.

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(press conference video)


Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Arson Blaze Damages San Fernando VFW Hall

Thursday, January 11, 2007 |

On Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 12:58 AM, twelve Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Arson Units, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, two EMS Battalion Captains, six Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 94 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Bowman responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 111 North Hagar Street in the City of San Fernando.

Responding swiftly to general reports of a smoke odor in the area, Firefighters searched the neighborhood to discover heavy fire showing from a portion of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3834.

Aided by brisk vertical ventilation of the fire building by their rooftop colleagues, Firefighters with handlines mounted a tenacious interior assault on the fire, confining the flames to a one-story office area. They extinguished the blaze in just 22 minutes.

There were no injuries.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $65,000 ($50,000 structure & $15,000 contents).

Los Angeles Fire Department Investigators, including an LAFD Accelerant Detection Canine Team, have determined the fire to be incendiary, the result of a deliberate act.

Persons who may have witnessed activity near the location or have further information for LAFD Investigators are encouraged to call the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section at (213)485-6095.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Tags: , , ,

North Hollywood Man Falls to Death

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Shortly before 3:26 AM on Thursday, January 11, 2007, a 27 year-old male sustained fatal injury when he fell from the rooftop of a three-story apartment building under construction in the 11200 block of Huston Street in North Hollywood.

The man, believed to live nearby, was reportedly discharging fireworks from atop the structure with friends when he suddenly went missing. Peering from the rooftop, his friends discovered him on a sidewalk to the east side of 11250 Huston Street and called 9-1-1.

Despite the prompt response of Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics, the man's injuries proved incompatible with life, and he was declared deceased at the scene.

No other injuries were reported.

The circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

A positive identification of the dead man, as well as the exact cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by Coroner's officials.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Quickly Tackle Hollywood Freeway Blaze

Tuesday, January 09, 2007 |

Cahuenga Pass Blaze. © Photo by Mike MeadowsOn Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 11:43 AM, nineteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, two Arson Units, two LAFD Helicopters, two LAFD Command Post units, two LAFD Bulldozer Teams, one LAFD Water Tender, two EMS Battalion Captains, five Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 117 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, as well as a Full Brush Assignment from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, all under the direction of Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Donald Austin responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire adjacent to the Northbound lanes of the 101 Freeway north of Barham Boulevard in the Cahuenga Pass.

Los Angeles Firefighters, at a heightened state of readiness with enhanced staffing due to critical fire weather conditions, arrived quickly to discover one-quarter acre of vegetation burning uphill in grass adjacent to the Hollywood Freeway.

With the close coordination of California Highway Patrol Officers, LAFD responders secured the rightmost lanes of the busy freeway to swiftly anchor the flames and begin working the flanks of the fire as the blaze moved quickly across a frontage road towards the 415-acre Universal Studios complex.

Despite the recent calming of extended Santa Ana winds, and a 'Red Flag' fire weather declaration ending just three hours beforehand, the flames moved rapidly through the light and flashy fuels towards thick brush.

Swift and well-honed efforts by ground crews from the two Departments were aided by aerial reconnaissance and command support from a trio of Los Angeles Fire Department helicopters in holding the fire to little more than two acres and bringing the flames fully under control in just 51 minutes.

No structures, studio workers or theme park patrons were threatened by the fire, which straddled the jurisdictional boundary of the two responding agencies.

There were no injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

You Can Save a Life: LAFD Sponsored Blood Drive

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The Los Angeles Fire Department, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, City of Hope National Medical Center, the National Bone Marrow Donor Program and the American Red Cross are collaborating this week on a Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Registration at three locations in Los Angeles.

Because now is the best time for Firefighters and members of the community to work together in helping to save lives, the LAFD is working diligently to register 150 participants each day for this life-saving cause.

Typically blood supply shortages occur each winter and many surgeries must be postponed due to low blood supplies at local hospitals. Stop and think what this could mean to you and your loved ones in the blink of any eye.

The success of this blood drive depends largely upon you.

The LAFD is therefore asking you to join Firefighters and their families in taking just a few minutes from your busy day to give the gift of life.

We'll make it easy. Blood may be donated at any of the Fire Stations listed below. Call to schedule your appointment, and we'll have you in and out in a heartbeart, no pun intended.

Additionally, you'll have an opportunity to enter the bone marrow registry upon which many ill people - including Firefighters, depend upon in times of medical crisis.

Please be a lifesaver...


DATE: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 (one day only at this location)

TIME: 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM

LOCATION:
Los Angeles Fire Department
Fire Station 112
444 South Harbor Boulevard
San Pedro, CA 90731

CONTACT: Tracee Elder from the City of Hope at (626) 301-8385, or (800) 535-7119, Ext. 65624 or e-mail: DONATEBLOOD@COH.ORG

LAFD Blood Drive Hotline: (323) 900-4440

DATES: January 9th, 10th, and 11th, 2007

TIME: 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM

LOCATION:
Los Angeles Fire Department
Fire Station 27
1327 Cole Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028

CONTACT: Ethel Rubio from the Red Cross at (310) 562-1238 or visit: WWW.GIVELIFE.ORG and enter sponsor code: LAFD27

LAFD Blood Drive Hotline: (323) 900-4440

DATES: January 9th, 10th, and 11th, 2007

TIME: 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM

LOCATION:
Los Angeles Fire Department
Fire Station 88
5101 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

CONTACT: Patricia LeBlanc from the Children’s Hospital Blood Donor Center, (323) 669-2339 or e-mail: BLOODDONOR2@CHLA.USC.EDU

LAFD Blood Drive Hotline: (323) 900-4440



This week, we can't just rely on 'somebody', we need to rely on you, your friends and family.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Resources Sent to Malibu Fire

Monday, January 08, 2007 |

Pursuant of a formal Mutual Aid Request, the Los Angeles Fire Department has assigned one Strike Team of Firefighters as an on-site resource available to the Los Angeles County Fire Department in their battle against wildfire near Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Road in Malibu, California northwest of our City.

These twenty-two members of the Los Angeles Fire Department have been dispatched to the wildfire in accordance with California's Fire & Rescue Emergency Mutual Aid System, administered by the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. The system is designed to ensure that additional resources are provided to local jurisdictions whenever their own resources are committed or insufficient for a specific emergency incident.

The City of Los Angeles remains fully protected by the use of additional staff and reserve apparatus to cover foreseeable local needs, and we remind local residents that these resources can be recalled to our City as necessary.

The men and women of the LAFD ask motorists to remain watchful for these and other convoys of emergency apparatus, and to be mindful of the space necessary for them to safely maneuver on local roads and highways.

Pursuant of protocol, all public and media information regarding this incident, including the actions of assigned LAFD personnel, will be provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which maintains daily jurisdictional authority of the area where the fire is burning.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Body Recovered From Rugged San Pedro Shoreline

Saturday, January 06, 2007 |

On Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 4:37 PM, seven Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, two Helicopters, two Fireboats, one EMS Battalion Captain, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of fifty Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, under the direction of Battalion Chief Ray Olsen responded to a Cliff Rescue near Point Fermin Park in San Pedro.

In response to the call of a passerby describing a motionless person at the base of the rugged cliffs west of the Pt. Fermin Lighthouse, the Los Angeles Fire Department rapidly deployed ground-based Firefighters as well as rescue-capable fireboats and helicopters to the scene.

Neighborhood Firefighters scrambled down a steep trail near-dusk to find the lifeless body of an adult male on the rocky shore during low tide conditions. Despite the rapid response of rescuers, the man proved to be beyond medical help and was declared deceased at the scene.

There was no vehicle, surfing or SCUBA equipment seen at the base of the 120-foot cliff, and the man was clad in street clothes rather than aquatic attire.

Firefighters were not able to determine how or when the man arrived at the rocky shoreline, and surmised some manner of physical trauma based solely on the manner in which is torso and limbs were positioned when found.

With darkness and high-tides approaching, Firefighters assisted Los Angeles Police Officers and Coroner's staff in safely accessing the body.

Following the on site investigation by law enforcement, a Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter crew moved the man's remains to the cliff-top Pt. Fermin Park in a safe and dignified manner.

A positive identification of the decedent, as well as the time, cause and manner of his death will be determined by Coroner's officials.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Confined to Office in Century City High-Rise

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On Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 1:34 PM, thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Rehab Air Tender Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, one EMS Battalion Captain, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 95 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Raymundo Gomez, responded to a Greater Alarm Highrise Structure Fire at 2029 South Century Park East in Century City.

Firefighters arrived quickly to confirm multiple alarm activations, but no external signs of smoke or fire from the Century Plaza Towers north tower, and promptly took control of occupant egress from the triangular 44-story office building, which along with its identical and adjacent sibling, are the tallest buildings within the City outside the downtown area.

Securing the lobby, fire control room and stairwells of thirty-one year-old aluminum-clad and sealed building, teams of Firefighters soon began the arduous task of climbing stairs in accordance with the LAFD's well-established High-Rise Incident Command System, as their colleagues took control of key building systems and established liaison with on site building staff.

With detailed knowledge of the structure gained during fire prevention and tactical pre-plan inspections, Firefighters carrying as much as 100 pounds of equipment each climbed 52 flights of stairs to access a working fire held in check by fire sprinklers in the southwest corner of the 26th floor.

With support teams readily staged on the floors below them, Firefighters assigned to fire attack aggressively assaulted the fire with handlines, confining the flames to the law office of origin, and fully extinguishing the blaze in just 34 minutes.

There were no injuries to Firefighters, or the more than 50 occupants who evacuated the building in a calm and orderly fashion in response to fire alarm activation.

Following extinguishment, dozens of Firefighters worked for several hours assisting building officials with salvage operations and water removal from the 23rd through 26th floors.

Loss from the fire was limited to $80,000. The cause of the blaze is categorized as electrical, with an origin focused on office computer equipment.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

The 'Proud Bird'... One December Mourn

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LAFD Firefighters at work...Stop by the LAFD Museum and Memorial in Hollywood, and you'll learn that Los Angeles Firefighters maintain a strong reverence for history, and for the memory of those who have paid the ultimate price in their service to the City.

The LAFD Historical Society reminds us that while our Brothers and Sisters killed in the line of duty might seem distant to others, they were beloved co-workers and dedicated public servants who once started their day alongside us...

Every morning, at approximately 5AM, the smell of coffee starts to fill the apparatus floors and kitchens in 103 fire stations across Los Angeles and in the basement of City Hall East (OCD - fire dispatch and Public Service). The quiet voices of firefighters and sounds of doors closing, showers, and other morning activity can be heard.

Unlike any other profession, these are the sounds of the daily shift changes at the Los Angeles Fire Department. Every morning, one of three platoons of firefighters arrive at work, to relieve those who have been on duty for the previous 24 hours. It is a routine that does not change, no matter the day, the time of year, or the weather.

Firefighters, unlike nearly any other profession, live together 24 hours at a time. It is an aspect of the job that makes it unique and unless you’ve spent a few shifts working and living with firefighters, it’s not easy to understand the bond and trust that exists between these individuals...

Continue reading "The 'Proud Bird'... One December Mourn..."



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Sweeps Through Mt. Washington Home

Friday, January 05, 2007 |

On Friday, January 5, 2007 at 8:27 PM, thirteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two Urban Search and Rescue Units, one Hazardous Materials Squad, two LAFD Helicopters, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 98 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Chris Logan, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 3569 Tacoma Avenue in the Mt. Washington area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly during a period of intense wind to find heavy fire showing from a one-story hillside home, threatening a larger 2-story residence under construction to the east.

Due to critical fire weather conditions, additional Firefighters were brought to the neighborhood during the firefight, and with the specter of flying brands, a pair of LAFD Helicopters were immediately requested to serve as aerial reconnaissance and command support, as well as provide water-dropping capability.

The aerial assault was not needed however, as a swift and decisive fire attack with hoselines was accompanied by strategic rooftop ventilation to halt the fire spread, allowing Firefighters to deftly confine the flames within the 1,147 square-foot building of origin.

The fire was fully extinguished in just twenty-two minutes, and there were no injuries.

An adult female resident of the burning home had smelled smoke, and safely evacuated with her three dogs prior to the Fire Department's arrival. Though the home was equipped with functional smoke alarms, they did not play a role in alerting the woman to the blaze.

Two adult residents were displaced by the fire, which heavily damaged the 84 year-old home, causing an estimated $175,000 ($150,000 structure & $25,000 contents) loss. The man and woman desired to seek their own accommodations.

The cause of the blaze was determined to be electrical in nature, with the origin undetermined.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Wind Whipped Rubbish Fire Spreads to Garages

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Fire, Wind and Wires. © Photo by Harry Garvin.A wind whipped backyard rubbish fire spread to several garages and a large tree to the rear of several duplexes along the 1200 block of South Sycamore Avenue in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles on January 5, 2007.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Indoor Pot Farm Goes Up In Smoke

Monday, January 01, 2007 |

On Monday, January 1, 2007 at 2:42 AM, sixteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Arson Units, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Rehab Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, two EMS Battalion Captains, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Robert Rose responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 8713 N. Topanga Canyon Bl. in Chatsworth.

Upon arrival, Firefighters discovered a two-story single-family home, from which, thick heavy smoke was billowing. As the structure was self-destructing, Firefighters took an aggressive stand in an effort to extinguish the fire, search the home for potential victims, and protect nearby homes from any damage. It took 110 Firefighters one-half hour to gain control of the fire and ensure that no residents were trapped within the house.

The house suffered extensive damage to both floors and the stairwell. During Firefighting operations it was noted that the only furniture contained within the home was a table, couch, and two beds.

While the home was definitely "Under-Furnished", it was by no means empty. The entire home was filled with Marijuana plants, in various stages of growth and production. The street value of the cultivated plants which were damaged, destroyed, and confiscated will be determined by local Law Enforcement Authorities.

Firefighters remained on scene for over 12 hours assisting LAPD with the investigation and scene management. One Firefighter was transported to Columbia West Hills Hospital and subsequently placed off duty with a knee and ankle injury. The cause of the fire is listed as electrical and the loss is estimated at $330,000 ($325,000 Structure and $5,000 Contents).

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Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department