Two Dead, Firefighter Injured in L.A. Koreatown Blaze

Saturday, August 16, 2008 |

On Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 2:38 AM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 5 Arson Units, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 118 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Richard Warford, responded to a Greater Alarm Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 422 South Western Avenue in the Koreatown/Wilshire Center area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy fire in the first and second floors of a two story commercial structure, with flames spreading to the attic.

Forcing entry into the multiple businesses of the well secured building, firefighters commenced a fierce and well-coordinated attack on the blaze, while their colleagues commenced a systematic search of the non-residential premises.

As the flames were extinguished in a first-floor skin care business that had been fully involved with fire, firefighters discovered the charred remains of two persons.

During the ongoing firefight, one Los Angeles Firefighter sustained 1st and 2nd degree burns to his hands. In fair condition, he was transported to the Emergency Room at Sherman Oaks Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The fire was extinguished in just 38 minutes, and skilfully confined to just two businesses on the first floor, one-and-a-half firms on the second floor, and a portion of the attic.

No other injuries were reported.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated.

A positive identification of the deceased - to include their age and gender, as well as the exact cause, time and manner of their deaths will be determined by the Coroner's Office.

The cause of this early morning blaze remains under active investigation by Police and Fire Department officials.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


JeFF --Dacove-- said...

I was getting gas at the corner of Bev. and western at the mobil around 3am. I heard sirens heading south on western. I see, 1 fire engine pass, then 1 fire truck, then a rescue. I thought nothing of it. then minutes later, i see a set of 3 more fire rigs pass. about 30 seconds later i see the Batt. Chief speeding by. I knew something big was happening. When i was done getting gas, i had saw what appeared to a DISCO of lights a mile or two south on Western. I traveled to 2nd street or 1st, then as i was heading East bound the smell of smoke was strong! very strong! One more fire engine was traveling west bound towards the scene! i made my way up to Beverly via Normandie, as i passed Vermont i noticed another fire engine heading west bound on Bev., the engine was near virgil (at the 2 odd intersections). directly behind that one here comes another one!

I knew that this was sure a massive fire. I didnt hear anything on the radio about the fire. But im glad this web site is here, and Best of luck to the injured firefighter!

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

JeFF --Dacove--,

We're pleased to offer this blog as a resource to the community. It remains our strongly held belief that our City can only be safe when those who live here can stay informed in a time and manner they see fit.

Your firsthand account of the LAFD response conveys a strong image, and we hope soon to offer a link to video or images that might further give perspective to this heartbreaking story.

Thanks for visiting the LAFD Blog, and please know that you can receive 'LAFD Breaking News' via email to your account or device of choice - or get the same information as it happens via SMS to your cell phone via LAFD Twitter.

Again, thanks for sharing your experience, and please visit again soon!

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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