Man Perishes in South Los Angeles House Fire

Monday, March 31, 2008 |

On Monday, March 31, 2008 at 10:17 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 42 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, joined in Automatic Aid by 1 Company of Los Angeles County Firefighters, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Jerome Boyd, responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 1936 West 94th Place in South Los Angeles.

Prefire image courtesy of Google

Prefire images courtesy of Google

Prefire image courtesy of Google. Click to see more...

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover flames showing from the front of a one-story 1,327 square-foot single family home. Firefighters aided by skillful vertical ventilation, aggressively attacked the fire with handlines, severely curtailing damage within the structure and extinguishing the flames in just 20 minutes.

During their relentless assault on the fire, Firefighters discovered the lifeless and severely burned body of a 72 year-old man in a front bedroom.

Carrying the large, pulseless and non-breathing male from the smoke-charged home, Firefighters commenced basic life support efforts that were escalated during Paramedic ambulance transport to Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, where the man died shortly after arrival.

The brother of the deceased man and his wife were asleep in a rear bedroom when the fire erupted, and were alerted to the blaze by their dog's incessant barking. The couple and their pet canine safely escaped by exiting the rear of their residence.

No other injuries were reported.

Though the homeowner verbalized the presence of smoke alarm(s), their functional status at the time of the fire could not be immediately determined. There were no window security bars or other obvious non-fire factors to impede the dead man's escape from the immaculately kept home. The 64 year-old building was not equipped with fire sprinklers.

In an effort to support the family in their time of need, City of Los Angeles Crisis Response Team volunteers were summoned to the scene.

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

Monetary loss from the fire has been estimated at $400,000 ($250,000 structure & $150,000 contents). The cause of this late night blaze has been determined to be electrical.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Man Severely Injured in Fall From San Pedro Cliff

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On Monday, March 31, 2008 at 6:16 PM, four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Urban Search and Rescue Unit, one Hazardous Materials Team, two Helicopters, three Fireboats, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 50 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Robert Willcox, responded to a Cliff Rescue on the rugged Pacific shoreline near Point Fermin Park in San Pedro - within 100 yards of where a woman was found dead four days earlier.

Summoned by a Los Angeles Port Police boat crew at the scene, Firefighters responded by land, air and sea to discover an adult male civilian at the base of the sheer and rocky cliffs at the southernmost point of Los Angeles.

A Firefighter/Diver from the first arriving fireboat swam to the rapid assistance of Port Police Officers in providing medical aid to the severely injured man, who appeared to be 25 years of age.

With rising tide and pending darkness, land-based Firefighters maneuvered a steep trail to the shoreline to join in caring for the unconscious man, who had obvious spinal injuries and a leg fracture.

Undaunted by the cresting waves nearby, rescuers physically stabilized the man and placed him in a litter basket before he was hoisted aboard an LAFD helicopter for the four-minute air ambulance flight to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, where he arrived in critical condition.

No other injuries were reported.

The circumstances surrounding the man's apparent fall remain under active investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

115,300 People Stand Silent in Los Angeles...

Sunday, March 30, 2008 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department were deeply humbled to have the largest baseball crowd in history observe a moment of silence in honor of their fallen colleague Brent Lovrien, when the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the Boston Red Sox at a historic exhibition game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on March 29, 2008.

LAFD Helicopters fly in honor of a fallen colleague above the largest baseball crowd in history
Los Angeles Fire Department helicopters perform a memorial fly over for a fallen firefighter prior to the start of the exhibition baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, Saturday, March 29, 2007. © AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

video following the moment of silence


Those wishing to offer an on-line note of condolence, are encouraged to post their sentiments here.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Firefighter Killed in the Line of Duty

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It is with great sadness that the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department share word that a City of Los Angeles Firefighter has died in the line of duty.

Photos and Slideshow of the Incident and Memorial Services


Updated Overview...

On Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 1:57 PM Los Angeles Firefighters were summoned to investigate a "smell of smoke" inside an office supply store at 8540 South Sepulveda Boulevard in the Westchester area of Los Angeles - not far from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

LAFD Engine 5 arrived at 2:03 pm and reported an underground electrical vault explosion in front of the location, and that they would handle the situation.

At 2:16 PM, Engine 5 reported a second underground electrical vault explosion and requested additional Fire Department resources for the new incident at 8800 South Sepulveda Boulevard.

At 2:23 pm, Los Angeles Fire Department dispatchers received a telephone call reporting a structure fire at the site of the second explosion.

Engine 5, already on scene at the 8800 South Sepulveda Boulevard location, initially reported no evidence of fire. One minute later, they reported fire in a locked room, and to keep all resources responding.

Engine 95 arrived soon thereafter to investigate the source of the smoke in the locked room, an approximately 7 foot wide by 4 foot deep electrical/storage closet on the southeast, first floor corner of the two story structure.

The crew of Engine 95 sought to access the locked room - which contained electric utility meters for the building, when a severe explosion occurred, causing injury to two Firefighters and one civilian.

LAFD Firefighter Brent Lovrien
Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien, age 35, a 10 year veteran of the LAFD assigned to the 'A' Platoon at Fire Station 95 since October 2005, died shortly after arrival at the Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center, Marina Campus.

LAFD Engineer Anthony Guzman
Engineer Anthony J. Guzman, age 48, an 18 year veteran of the LAFD assigned to the 'A' Platoon at Fire Station 95 since February 2002, suffered multiple fractures and facial trauma. He was transported to the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood in serious but stable condition. Following surgery and post-operative care, Engineer Guzman was released from the hospital on March 30, 2008.

The civilian was assessed at the scene and released.

As dictated by Fire Department policy, a formal and detailed multi-agency investigation sought to determine the exact nature of the explosion, as well as the precise cause and manner of Firefighter Lovrien's death.

The following is a statement by Battalion Chief John Miller, Commanding Officer of the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section:

"Based on our investigation, which included physical examination, numerous interviews, and the collection of physical evidence, has determined that the explosion at 8800 S. Sepulveda was the result of a fire that originated in the electrical vault located at the intersection of Sepulveda and La Tijera.

Various witnesses reported smelling odors as early as 10:00 am. It is our opinion that the fire was a result of a ground fault in an electrical conduit that was feed out of the underground vault. This ground fault resulted in a fire within the vault, which pressurized the vault with unburned products of combustion. This material, traveled through the conduit transmission corridors, approximately 250 feet that caused the initial explosion at the underground electrical vault located in front of Staples. Witnesses report the access cover of the vault traveling upwards of 20 feet in the air.

The resulting pressure from this explosion causes smoke to travel back down the corridors to the electrical vault at Sepulveda and La Tijera. During this time, smoke is traveling in all directions and follows the underground electrical conduit to the electrical room at 8800 Sepulveda. This combustible smoke accumulated in the confined area of the electrical room. When Firefighter Lovrien attempted entry into the room, a spark was generated when the composite blade of the rotary saw struck the locking mechanism of the door.

There was no evidence of any fire, electrical problem, natural gas leak or incendiary devices found in the room. Investigators have concluded that unburned combustible gases, from a fire in the electrical vault located in the street at the front of the building, accumulated in the electrical room. These products of combustion reached its explosive limit and was ignited by a spark from the forcible entry attempts."


The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department remain deeply appreciative of the kindness and support of so many, and for the patience of Westchester residents and LAX travelers inconvenienced by our response and investigation.

Those wishing to offer an on-line note of condolence, are encouraged to post their sentiments here.

On December 14, 2009 the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an institute within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released their report on the death of Firefigher Brent Lovrien.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Woman Found Dead on Beach in San Pedro

Friday, March 28, 2008 |

On Friday, March 28, 2008 at 7:55 AM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one Hazardous Materials Team, two Helicopters, three Fireboats, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 50 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Brian Cummings, responded to a possible Cliff Rescue on the rocky Pacific shoreline near Point Fermin Park in San Pedro.

Responding by land, air and sea, Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to find a person motionless at the base of the sheer and rugged cliffs at the southernmost point of Los Angeles.


View Larger Map (you can also click, grab and zoom the map above!)


First arriving land-based Firefighters descended a steep improvised trail to the shoreline nearly 150 feet below, to determine an adult female was beyond medical help.

The woman was declared dead at the scene.

Following an on-site law enforcement investigation, an LAFD helicopter crew moved the woman's remains to the cliff-top Pt. Fermin Park in a safe and dignified manner, where they were transferred to the care of Coroner's staff.

Photo from Flickr gallery of Marshall Astor, used under Creative Commons license. Click to learn more...

The positive identification of the dead woman, to include her name and age, as well as the precise cause, time and manner of her death will be determined by the Coroner's Office.

The circumstances surrounding this death, including how the woman came to be at the base of the cliff, remain under active investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Photo by Marshall Astor, used under Creative Commons license.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Custodial Spill Sends 3 Hollywood Workers to Hospital

Monday, March 24, 2008 |

On Monday, March 24, 2008 at 11:57 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 46 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Thomas, responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

Summoned by security staff at the Hollywood & Highland Center, Firefighters arrived quickly to reports of one or more spilled and fuming products within a custodial storage room in a non-public area of the large retail and entertainment complex.

According to witnesses, shelving had collapsed with the concrete walled room, allowing as many as 50 gallons of liquids to comingle and create vapor, which dissipated shortly after Firefighters arrival.

After securing an essential perimeter and establishing Incident Command, first arriving LAFD crews summoned a Fire Department HazMat Squad and prepared for their operations. There was no need for formal evacuation, and no direct impact or involvement with the adjacent Kodak Theatre or Metro Red Line subway.

Three adult male maintenance workers, ages 26,50 and 53 later verbalized subjective complaints of respiratory irritation, dizziness or shortness of breath, and following on-scene treatment, were transported to area hospitals in good condition. It was not immediately clear if they had been exposed to the aforementioned fumes.

LAFD HazMat experts determined there to be no escalating hazard, and after stabilizing the scene, turned the location over to officials from the County of Los Angeles Fire Department, Health Hazardous Materials Division to handle to conclusion.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Welding Sparks Warner Center Construction Site Blaze

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On Monday, March 24, 2008 at 8:43 AM, 47 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Air Tender Unit, 2 Helicopters, 1 Foam Tender, 1 Emergency Air Unit, 1 Command Post Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 6 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 277 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Timothy Manning, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 21301 Erwin Street in Warner Center.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy smoke showing from the central portion of "Ascent at Warner Center", a 191-unit five-story condominium complex entering the final stages of construction.

Forcing entry through security fences and extending firefighting handlines along and over the serpentine and at-times challenging construction site terrain, Firefighters commenced bold defensive operations against well-entrenched fire in the unoccupied building of fire origin.

Varying degrees of construction, including raw lumber and open conduits, combined with large amounts of scaffolding and routine construction debris, allowed the fire to spread rapidly and gain a stubborn foothold as Firefighters flanked the flames.

With all construction workers safe and accounted for, Firefighters deployed dozens of hoselines across the multi-acre site in what proved to be a nearly 90 minute offense.

Significantly aided by pre-fire planning and the presence of two LAFD helicopters serving in aerial reconnaissance and command support roles, Incident Commanders were quick to leverage the functional if not physically complete elements of the fire sprinkler and standpipe systems to support fractional containment of the flames.

The relentless attack confined the fire to a small portion of buildings in the central core of the project, and the blaze was fully contained in just 1 hour and 22 minutes.

No civilian or Firefighter injuries were reported.

Direct loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of this blaze is categorized as accidental, and is attributed to slag or molten metal from a third-floor balcony welding operation falling upon combustible tarpaper one or more floors below.

Despite the required presence of portable fire extinguishers and an attempt by workers to carry and use them at the distant fire, the blaze proved beyond the immediate control of worksite responders, who were forced to retreat by the intense heat and smoke of the fire.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

4 Injured When SUV Tumbles From Hollywood Freeway

Saturday, March 22, 2008 |

On Saturday, March 22, 2008 at 11:24 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 2 EMS Battalion Captains and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 45 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Charles Butler, responded to a Traffic Collision with Entrapment near 11726 Burbank Boulevard in Valley Village.

A new full-size sport utility vehicle apparently left the southbound Hollywood (170) Freeway near the Burbank Boulevard offramp, sheared a light standard and tumbled to the roadway below, where it narrowly missed a passing LAPD Sergeant, who summoned assistance from the Fire Department and fellow Police Officers.

The Sergeant was almost instantly joined by LAPD Officers from the nearby North Hollywood Community Police Station in carefully removing two boys from the rear of the mangled vehicle.

Firefighters were soon alongside them and providing care for the injured siblings, ages 10 and 13, as additional LAFD crews worked in earnest with power tools to free a man and woman, later identified as their mother and father, who were badly pinned in the front seats of heavily damaged white SUV.

Skillful teamwork by Los Angeles Firefighters had the trapped man and woman freed in less than 20 minutes, and soon on their way to area trauma centers. Though an effort was made to keep the family united at a single medical facility, the severe nature of the adult's injuries combined with hospital caseload at the time, prohibited such an effort.

The 41 year-old male was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in critical condition, while the 40 year-old female and two boys were transported to the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in serious condition.

No other injuries were reported.

The collision, which briefly closed Burbank Boulevard in both directions, as well as the adjacent north- and southbound offramps of the Hollywood Freeway, will be investigated by the California Highway Patrol.

(photos)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Trio Sustains Burns in Pico-Union Apartment Fire

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On Saturday, March 22, 2008 at 10:00 PM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 3 EMS Battalion Captains and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 70 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Gary Clark, responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian Injuries at 1025 South Albany Street in the Pico/Union area southwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Responding to a multitude of 9-1-1 calls, Los Angeles Firefighters arrived promptly to discover smoke showing from a two-story center hallway apartment building. While mounting their brisk offense with handlines in the single first-floor unit at the southeast corner of the structure, Firefighters discovered one burned man and soon thereafter another.

The two men, whose age and affiliation is not yet known, reportedly escaped the burning apartment via a window, sustaining unspecified burn injuries that placed them initially in 'critical' condition.

While aggressively attacking flames within the single studio apartment unit at the rear of the non-fire sprinklered building, Firefighters found an unconscious woman with severe burn injuries, and quickly removed her from harm.

The woman, whose age and relationship to the men was not immediately clear, suffered more severe thermal injuries and remained unresponsive. She was described as being in 'grave' condition during a primary medical assessment.

Following initial medical treatment at the scene, the three were transported via LAFD Ambulance to California Hospital Medical Center and Good Samaritan Hospital.

No other injuries were reported.

Monetary loss from the fire has been estimated at $35,000 ($25,000 structure & $10,000 contents). First responders stated that there was no immediate evidence of a functional smoke alarm in the involved apartment.

The cause of this fire remains the focus of a joint and active investigation by Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Police Department investigators.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Passenger Van and Semi Collide, Sending 7 to Hospital

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On Saturday, March 22, 2008 at 4:06 PM, 1 Company of Los Angeles Firefighters, 8 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 24 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief John Biggs, responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision near 801 South Lorena Street in South Boyle Heights.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a two vehicle collision at the base of the Lorena Street offramp of the eastbound Pomona (60) Freeway. The male driver of a conventional semi-tractor was uninjured, while seven males in a full-size passenger van sustained injuries that ranged from minor to life-threatening.

There was no entrapment, and veteran LAFD Firefighter/Paramedics were quick to credit seat belt use in minimizing injury to occupants of the van, which had sustained broadside damage.

Prompt and efficient triage of the injured men was followed by their rapid treatment and transportation the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, White Memorial Medical Center and East Los Angeles Doctor's Hospital.

Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department and California Highway Patrol each responded to the scene, and after lending coordinated assistance to Firefighters, commenced a joint investigation pending a determination of incident jurisdiction.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Overloaded Outlet Sparks Chatsworth Condo Blaze

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On Saturday, March 22, 2008 at 3:17 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 41 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, as well as 1 Company of Los Angeles County Firefighters, all under the direction of LAFD Battalion Chief Jeffrey Marcus, responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian Injury at 22348 James Alan Circle in Chatsworth.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find smoke showing from the upper floor of a two story condominium. Extending handlines as their coworkers deployed ladders to the roof, Firefighters commenced an aggressive fire attack aided by precise and timely vertical ventilation.

Despite the presence of dense personal storage within the home, the well-coordinated effort of Firefighters confined the flames to the bedroom of fire origin, extinguishing the blaze in less than 13 minutes.

Occupants of the unit were reportedly alerted to the fire by properly functioning smoke alarms in the non-fire sprinklered building.

A 42 year-old female resident was apparently one of several persons who attempted to fight the flames with a portable fire extinguisher prior to the Fire Department's arrival. She sustained 2nd degree burns to one foot and one hand, and following on-scene treatment, was transported in fair condition by LAFD Ambulance to Kaiser Hospital in Woodland Hills.

No other injuries were reported.

Displaced by the fire were 4 adults, 4 children and 3 dogs, all of whom were to receive temporary placement assistance from the American Red Cross.

Monetary loss from the fire is estimated at $85,000 ($65,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The cause of the blaze was determined to be electrical in nature, and is attributed to an overloaded electrical power strip.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Wrong Way Driver Causes Fiery Early Morning Crash

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 |

On Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 11:38 PM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, DOT, Cal Trans, CHP and the L.A. County Coroner, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Arguelles, responded to a reported Auto Fire at the EB 118 FY x Reseda Bl. in Porter Ranch.

The first frantic call into the 911 Dispatch Center indicated a vehicle was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of the 118 Freeway. Shortly after those initial calls, a fiery crash involving a tractor trailer and 2 cars erupted into fires which spread across all lanes of the freeway. The intense blaze spread into the grass and brush along the freeway aided by leaking diesel fuel from the semi truck, causing additional work for responding companies. Debris from the damaged center divider littered both sides of the freeway.

A request for all traffic lanes to be shut down in both directions to enable fire companies to access the freeway and to establish much needed supply lines to fight the fires. It took approximately 60 Firefighters 29 minutes to bring the multiple fires under control. There were four reported patients. Two females, 45 and 12, traveling in a small compact car, escaped serious injury and were treated and released at the scene. The semi truck driver was treated and transported to Northridge Hospital in stable condition. There was one fatality, a male whose age could not be determined, the driver of a Toyota Scion. The low injury count can be greatly attributed to the limited amount of traffic during the early morning hours.

(photos) (video)

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Yet No Cure - Only Pancakes, Prizes and You

Monday, March 17, 2008 |

LAFD Pancake BreakfastPlease join members of the Los Angeles Fire Department and their families for a three-day Pancake Breakfast fundraiser to support the family of LAFD Engineer Alfred Camacho.

Alfred's lovely wife Danielle 38, is terminally ill with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Undeniable Heartbreak...

The Camacho Family
Diagnosed three years ago and given a prognosis of living 3 to 5 years, Danielle and her family have relied on relatives and one another in coping.

It has now become essential for Alfred to remain home alongside his wife and daughters Jessica 11 and Brittany 14, to offer physical and emotional support, address everyday needs and provide a comforting transition.

Doing What We Can...

Being with his family in their time of greatest need has brought financial hardship to the Camacho household, adding to the staggering burden already faced by the devoted husband, father and firefighter.

Members of the LAFD are lending strong support, but there is only so much that we can do alone in meeting the immediate needs of the Camacho family.

You Can Help...

A trio of Pancake Breakfasts are being held this week at Fire Stations in Los Angeles, Hollywood and San Pedro neighborhoods that Alfred has proudly protected:


All are warmly welcome at these upbeat and enjoyable public events, which give both Firefighters and those they serve a chance to better know one another while uniting behind the Camacho's.

Each Small Amount Helps...

There is no fixed price for these hearty breakfasts, you are welcome to donate what you please. The most important thing is for you to be in attendance!

But of Course, There is More...

Thanks to the generosity of business and community leaders, there will be a raffle with proceeds to benefit the Camacho's. Prizes include televisions, a laptop computer, passes to see top entertainers in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, hosted dinners and much, much more.

For us though, the real prize is your solidarity.

If you can't make these events, and still wish to help the Camacho Family, please consider a donation to:

Fire Family Foundation
Camacho Family Fund
815 West Colorado Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90041


For information about the fund, visit: firefamilyfoundation.org or call (800) 231-1626 ext. 2234.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Major Emergency Fire Disrupts Koreatown

Sunday, March 16, 2008 |

On Sunday, March 16, 2008 at 2:12 PM, 15 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, Emergency Air, 2 CERT Team Coordinators, DWP, DOT, LAPD and the Red Cross, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Mark Stormes, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 3184 W. 8th St. in the Koreatown district.

Multiple 911 calls into the OCD Dispatch Center and responding Fire resources indicating a large "loom up" in the area, confirmed reports of a structure fire. Engine 13, first on scene, reported that one unit on the second floor of U-shaped, 4 story, 45 unit, center hall apartment building over a string of commercials had heavy smoke and fire showing and requested additional companies. As fire companies arrived on scene, there were additional reports of people trapped in a second floor unit and that fire was lapping upward to a unit on the third floor. As companies were assigned tasks, reports confirmed that the third floor had heavy smoke in the hallway. Again, additional companies were requested to assist in the blossoming fire fight.

An intense three-pronged attack was staged as companies were positioned to aggressively deploy handlines in the fire attack, while also concentrating on a primary search for residents and roof top ventilation providing occupants exit relief. It took 109 Firefighters thirty minutes to gain control of the fire and call a knock down. The Medical Group treated six patients, 5 adults and 1 child, transporting one female, 40, with smoke inhalation and a five month old for precautionary purposes from smoke exposure. The Red Cross was requested to assist 15that were displaced, but the residents declined assistance, as the building management provided housing. CERT Team Coordinators assisted Emergency Air and the building residents. DOT was requested to shut down traffic in both directions on 8th Street between Mariposa and Catalina and LAPD assisted in controlling the multitude of spectators.

The estimated dollar loss is $70,000 [$50,000 structure and $20,000 contents] and the cause of the afternoon fire is pending until the completion of the investigation.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Greater Alarm Fire in the Crenshaw District

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On Sunday, March 16, 2008 at 4:03 AM, 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, DOT, the Housing Authority and the Red Cross, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Donald Austin responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 4326 S. Leimert Bl. in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw area.

Several frantic calls into the OCD Dispatch Center described a large amount of fire coming from two units in the apartment building next door. The first Fire Department resource on scene found a two story, six-plex with one unit on the second floor fully involved with fire. Additional companies were requested. Fire personnel made a concentrated effort to quickly extinguish the early morning fire and assure that all civilian personnel were evacuated from the building. The fire did extend into the attic space of the structure, but aggressive roof ventilation assisted by interior firefighting companies, kept the bulk of the fire in the attic and unit of the fire origin. Companies were immediately assigned salvage responsibilities for the units below, to minimize water damage and loss to person property.

It took approximately 80 Firefighters 36 minutes to extinguish the early morning fire and no injuries were reported. Six families were displaced and in need of Red Cross assistance. The case of the fire is undetermined pending the completion of the investigation. The dollar loss is estimated at $295,000 [$210,000 structure and $85,000 contents]. The building complex had functional smoke detectors, which possibly assisted in the early evacuation of the building occupants.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire in Los Angeles Fourplex Displaces Ten

Saturday, March 15, 2008 |

On Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 6:13 PM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 83 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Ralph Ramirez, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 333 North Sierra Bonita Avenue in the Fairfax District.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover smoke showing from a 2-story residential fourplex, and soon determined that fire had gained a stubborn foothold within the wood balloon frame walls and floors of the 80 year-old structure.

As flames swept into the attic of the 5,728 square foot building, Firefighters employed tactical vertical ventilation to prevent fire spread, while their colleagues below used thermal imaging cameras to effectively guide hoselines to the seat of the fire.

The flames were extinguished in just 29 minutes, and there were no injuries.

Though structural and property loss were greatly minimized by LAFD strategy and teamwork, a total of ten residents were temporarily displaced, and stated a desire to seek their own accommodations.

Fire loss is estimated at $200,000 ($150,000 structure & $50,000 contents). The cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Top 20 Reasons For Meeting an LAFD Paramedic

Thursday, March 13, 2008 |

While there is sadly no shortage of fire and other emergency incidents in the City of Los Angeles, the response to medical emergencies constitutes 82% of the call volume for Neighborhood Firefighters.

On any given day, there are an average 829 Emergency Medical Service (EMS) incidents in our City, from which Firefighters transport 535 people to area hospitals.

Of course, at the Los Angeles Fire Department, the care begins with the call to 9-1-1, where medically trained Firefighters engage callers with a 'zero-minute' response time and a virtual presence to stabilize patients and guide medical self-help while responders are on the way.

What brings LAFD Paramedics to your Neighborhood?

  1. Breathing Problems: 98 incidents per day

  2. Traffic Accidents: 97 incidents per day

  3. Unknown Problem: 75 incidents per day

  4. Sick Person: 68 incidents per day

  5. Falls: 67 incidents per day

  6. Unconscious/Fainting: 62 incidents per day

  7. Chest Pain: 60 incidents per day

  8. Assault: 49 incidents per day

  9. Convulsions/Seizures: 36 incidents per day

  10. Traumatic Injuries: 32 incidents per day

  11. Diabetic Problems: 24 incidents per day

  12. Abdominal Pain: 24 incidents per day

  13. Hemorrhage/Lacerations: 22 incidents per day

  14. Overdose/Poisoning: 20 incidents per day

  15. Cardiac Arrest/Death: 14 incidents per day

  16. Stroke: 13 incidents per day

  17. Stabbing/Gunshot: 12 incidents per day

  18. Heart Problems: 10 incidents per day

  19. Psychiatric/Suicide Attempt: 9 incidents per day

  20. Pregnancy/Childbirth: 8 incidents per day

The categories above are at the time of dispatch. A formal medical evaluation will often lead to a more concise diagnosis (i.e. a suspected overdose may prove to be a diabetic, etc).

No matter the nature of your emergency, when life hangs in the balance in Los Angeles, never delay in calling 9-1-1!


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

When the Pandemic Arrived in Los Angeles

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 |

One of the most devastating public health crises of modern times hit the United States 90 years ago today — and experts are still studying it, hoping to head off the possibility of a similar global pandemic.

It started in Fort Riley...

First reported among soldiers at Fort Riley, Kansas, just back from fighting in Europe and called the "Spanish influenza," the virus moved quickly, and in October 1918, the worst month, 195,000 Americans perished. By 1920, nearly one-in-four Americans had suffered from this strain of the flu, killing a half million of us. Worldwide, some 22 million people died.

Striking hard in the City of Angels...

In Los Angeles, health officials were optimistic at the start of the pandemic. But by the middle of October 1918, our city was forced to close schools, churches, theaters, and all other recreational sites. Schools did not reopen for the next four months, and businesses - including film studios that could not weather the economic impact, soon filed for bankruptcy.

Three makeshift emergency hospitals were opened to care specifically for influenza patients in Los Angeles, as city officials asked L.A's then 576,000 residents to do their Christmas shopping by phone, so as to avoid crowds.

Learning from science - and our forefathers...

While medicine has evolved greatly in the past nine decades, there are some tried and true lessons from "The Great Pandemic" that can keep us safe today.

Along with the Six Simple Habits That Protect You From the Flu, Los Angeles Firefighters encourage you to learn details about the devastating public health crises that effected Los Angeles and the world:

1918.pandemicflu.gov



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Irritant Forces Guests to Lobby of L.A. Hotel

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On Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 4:09 AM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team and LA County Health Haz-Mat, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Greg Gibson responded to a Hazardous Material Investigation at 930 Wilshire Boulevard in the Metro Center/Financial District of downtown Los Angeles.

When Firefighters arrived on scene they were notified that occupants on the 10th floor of the Wilshire Grand Hotel were complaining of a "pepper spray" type smell. Firefighters in full protective gear ascended to the 10th floor where they evacuated approximately 100 people, until the source of the smell could be identified and confirmed as pepper spray. The residents were relocated to the lobby area and evaluated by Paramedics. In all, seven people were complaining of burning eyes and itchy throats, consistent with pepper spray exposure. Fortunately, none of the patients required transportation or suffered any serious effects from this exposure.

Los Angeles Firefighters along with LAPD and Los Angeles County Health Haz Mat determined that the substance was a pepper spray type of release. The circumstances of the release are under investigation. The occupants of the 10th floor were allowed to return after the lengthy investigation concluded.

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Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

47 Years Ago Today: LAFD Badge 480 Retired

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The rays of the waking sun shone brightly on Badge #480 affixed to the chest of Fireman Thomas O. Morse on January 17, 1961, as he stood briefly before the nearly half-century old firehouse on West Washington Boulevard.

Los Angeles Fireman Thomas O. MorseAssigned to the 'A' Platoon of Truck Company 26, Tom had been a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department for fourteen years.

Sharing freshly percolated coffee with members of his platoon in the fire station kitchen, his thoughts were no doubt briefly of his still-sleeping wife Lucille, and three girls, Karen, Katherine and Karol at their Van Nuys home.

With a final sip of coffee as the morning bell tolled to signify the oncoming platoon, little did those present know how much they - and Los Angeles, would be inspired by the courage of Thomas Morse in the 53 days that followed.

Learn about the retirement of LAFD Badge #480 on March 11, 1961 during a visit to the LAFD Museum and Firefighter Memorial, or by reading the LAFD Historical Archive:

The Last Alarm for Thomas O. Morse



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

L.A. Firemen's Credit Union is Giving it Away!

Monday, March 10, 2008 |

While it is certainly not our place to guide your personal affairs, we did want to share the most well kept (and valuable) secret of the Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union - one that *anyone*, but especially Firefighters can take advantage of right this minute.

No paperwork is necessary, and there is no agreement or contract to sign. Best of all, it is absolutely free!

While focused toward Firefighters, the benefit is applicable to those in any walk of life, and comes in two popular offerings: GG and PS.

Click here to see what GG offers

Click here to see what PS offers


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Joe Dupee: You Only Know Him Now

Saturday, March 08, 2008 |

Yesterday's tragedy in Salisbury reminds us that on any given day, there is heartache in an American firehouse. In the case of that small North Carolina city, it had been 37 years since one of their finest had laid down his life in the service of others. His name was Joe Jenkins, and for many in Rowan County, he was less than a memory.

Ten years ago today in Los Angeles, another Firefighter named "Joe" drove quietly from his home in the pre-dawn darkness to begin a tour of duty that would prove to be his last.

In Los Angeles, it had been 14 years - the longest span at the LAFD without a line of duty death, when on March 8, 1998, Captain Joseph Dupee answered his last alarm.

"You Only Know Him Now"

...as published in the book, "The Heart Behind The Hero" Written March 12, 1998 by Firefighter Jon McDuffie, in loving memory of Joseph Charles Dupee...

We provide a faceless, nameless service to a community that rarely knows how much they need us. We are a myriad of thousands, each with our own personalities, families and troubles. A band of anonymous heroes that subordinates ego and self-interest to serve a populace that only knows that we will be there when they call. We get paid for what we are able to do, on the occasions when we are called to do it.

This week, one of us got a name, a face, a rank, a family, a life beyond a badge. His life is now recognized, only because it was sacrificed. He gave his life defending the property of a person he did not know, in a City that did not know him.

His name is Joseph Dupee.

I knew him before you and will remember him long after his name wanes in your short-term memory. Ten mornings a month, Joe rose before the sun, kissed his sleeping family goodbye, and made the drive to his second home. He exercised, he trained himself and his crew, he laughed, he sulked, and he handled tedious projects. He read his Bible and spoke about it with others. He shared his opinions at the kitchen table with his brothers and sisters who drank thousands of cups of bad coffee with him, all the while attempting to solve the problems of the world. And then he would wait -- for the calls where he sometimes worked harder than you can imagine.

Some of his work days were spent waiting. Some days his City did not need him as much as other days, but still, he waited.

If you needed Joe for small things - a broken water pipe, a child locked in a car, a pot of beans that cooked just a bit too long - he responded to your call.

Other times, when you needed him for life threatening emergencies - to rescue you from natural and man made disasters, from fire, from accidents, from illness, from yourselves – he responded to your call.

You never doubted that Joe would be there for you. You never knew his name and he never asked you to justify your need. He served you because he wanted to help, and he loved to help you. You could have stopped giving him pay raises, repairing his station, hiring more firefighters, and he would still be waiting to answer your call.

Joe loved his family, his God, and his country. He was an opinionated prankster who loved to talk, could not cook, and drove too fast behind the wheel of a fire engine. He was a good fire ground officer who worked aggressively at incidents and diligently at his post. He was on my platoon for three years -- he will be my brother always.

But you did not know him then. You only know him now.

Choose to think of him as a hero in death and I will tell you that he was a hero in life. Use Joe's memory for sadness, and I will use it to comfort his family and my brothers and sisters that must continue to wait. Continue pouring out sympathy until it becomes a faint trickle and I will still be here waiting for the next call.

I provide a faceless, nameless service to a community that rarely knows how much they need me. If I am called from a sound sleep to sacrifice my life attempting to save the life or property of someone I do not know, I will do so without regret.

Joe did it. Why wouldn't I?


Thank you for remembering Joe Dupee and others like him...


We offer a respectful tip o' the helmet to the Puget Sound FOOLS for including our fallen LAFD Brothers Ben Pinel, Joe Dupee, Lane Kemper, and Sister Jaime Foster in their video above.

To learn more about the many Los Angeles Firefighters who have laid down their lives in the line of duty, please visit the LAFD Museum and Memorial or click:

www.lafd.org/lodd.htm



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighter Injured in Late Night Studio City Fire

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On Friday, March 7, 2008 at 10:48 PM, 9 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, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1Division Chief Officer Command Team, DOT and DWP, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Jeffery S. Mottram, responded to a Reported Smoke at 10112 W. Riverside Dr. in the Studio City area.

Fire resources were dispatched to reports of smoke in the area of the 10000 block of Riverside Avenue. The first arriving company on scene found a two story row of commercials with light smoke coming from one unit on the first floor. As companies were trying to locate the source of the smoke, heavy fire and smoke erupted from the Toluca Lake Chiropractic office. Additional companies were requested. Firefighters worked diligently, deploying 2-1/2 inch hose lines to get water on the seat of the fire in concert with roof top ventilation. Additional companies were deployed to the second floor occupancies, checking for possible vertical extension of fire. Radio Shack, located directly above the fire origin, had smoke emanating from that occupancy, indicating a possible hazardous situation between the two floors. During the intense fire fight, a Firefighter stepped through a burned out area on the second floor and fell through to the first floor. He was immediately rescued and taken to the Medical Group, where he was evaluated, treated and transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.

It took approximately 76 Firefighters forty three minutes to get a knockdown called on the fire. The damage was contained to the storage area of the first floor Chiropractic office. The second floor storage area for Radio Shack sustained minor smoke damage. The dollar loss estimate and the cause of the late night blaze is undetermined until the completion of the investigation. The injured Firefighter was listed in stable condition and no other injuries were reported.

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Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Mourns Fallen North Carolina Colleagues

Friday, March 07, 2008 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department mourn the loss of two North Carolina Firefighters today in a blaze that erupted at a Salisbury millworking firm.

The ultimate sacrifice of Victor Isler and Justin Monroe represents the 27th and 28th U.S. Firefighters to die in the line of duty this year, in what is the first multi-Firefighter fatality incident of 2008.

There were 115 on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States in 2007.

Please join us in offering your thoughts and prayers for the families of the fallen and their colleagues at the Salisbury Fire Department.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Three Car Traffic Injures Three, One Critical

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On Friday, March 7, 2008 at 1:15 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 Helicopter, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, CHP and LAPD, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Gregory Reynar, responded to a Physical Rescue at the Westbound 118 Fy at Reseda Bl. in the Granada Hills area.

Initial reports into the OCD Dispatch Center, indicated that there was a four car traffic accident, with one car possibly over the embankment and one person trapped. The first arriving Fire Department resources on scene found three cars had collided along the center divider and one female driver was trapped inside a small compact car. A physical rescue assignment was called to extricate the trapped driver, a 20 year old female. The driver cried out repeatedly for her child passenger. An unsecured, infant car seat was found amid the debris of the accident and it was presumed to have held a child that was possibly ejected from the vehicle during the collision. Requested to assist in the aerial search were an LAFD and a CHP helicopter, while LAPD dispatched a canine unit to assist in the ground search.

The female driver of the small compact was extricated and transported in critical condition to an area hospital. It was at the hospital that Fire Department resources were able to ascertain that the female driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle. Three other patients were identified who had sustained minor injuries. Two females, 20 and 20 months, were evaluated and released at the scene. One male, 70, was treated and transported to an area hospital. Fortunately, there were no fatalities and the three patients with only minor injuries, can be greatly attributed to the utilization of seat belts, secured child safety seat and the deployment of air bags in their vehicles.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Landslide Closes Busy Los Angeles Thoroughfare

Thursday, March 06, 2008 |

On Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 7:10 AM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Urban Search & Rescue Unit, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 LAFD Front Load Tractor; 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Emergency Lighting Unit, 1 Helicopter, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 68 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Daniel McCarthy, responded to a Non-Injury Landslide near 329 South Thurston Avenue in Westwood.

Responding to reports of electric wires arcing in a tree "near Montana Avenue", Firefighters arrived quickly to discover high-voltage lines tangled and ablaze in a eucalyptus tree that had shifted to the base of a hillside between Thurston Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard.

As Firefighters affirmed the event to be caused by soil movement, they briskly established a safety perimeter and traffic control on Sepulveda Boulevard while summoning additional LAFD personnel and the Department of Water and Power.

While preparing a hoseline to be used from a safe distance to tackle the now burning tree, a large section of the bluff suddenly gave way a distance from Firefighters, sending tons of muddy earth and vegetation, including eucalyptus and pepper trees, crashing across, and all-but obliterating, often-busy Sepulveda Boulevard.

Though no vehicles, pets or persons were struck by or caught in the debris, the sudden escalation of events brought forth more than a dozen municipal agencies and civic leaders to work in concert in addressing the 100' wide by 6' deep mass, that had spread westward across 3 and 1/2 lanes of the four-lane-wide arterial boulevard at the height of rush hour.

Within minutes, Los Angeles Fire Department specialists, including those trained and equipped in Urban Search and Rescue and the operation of heavy earthmoving equipment, were strategically deployed above and adjacent to the slide, Firefighters swiftly contacted residents above the hillside failure at 321, 329 and 335 South Thurston Avenue. An unspecified number of occupants were calmly led from the three homes pending the arrival of Department of Building and Safety Inspectors.

With the City Departments of Transportation, Public Works and Police joining LAFD and DWP to perform core response and recovery functions, utilities were promptly secured in the immediate area as a City Geologist assessed the hillside.

During this time, displaced residents were briefly escorted into their homes by LAFD Urban Search and Rescue teams to retrieve essential items.

At approximately 1:30 PM, after the home at 329 South Thurston had been red-tagged by the Department of Building and Safety as "Unsafe to Occupy" and the homes at 321 and 335 were yellow-tagged as permitting only "Restricted Use", the cleanup of Sepulveda Boulevard was permitted to proceed, and continued into the night.

No injuries to civilians or responders were reported.

The cause of the landslide was not determined by the Fire Department. The status of the hill and properties will be overseen by the City's Department of Building and Safety. The physical assessment and restoration of Sepulveda Boulevard will be handled by the City's Bureau of Street Services, while the announcement of lane reopenings and formal control of traffic remains within the purview of the City's Department of Transportation.

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LAFD Resource: Los Angeles Street Closure Information


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Arson Task Force Investigates Arleta Church Fire

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On Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:50 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Dan McCarty, responded to a Structure Fire at 9757 Arleta Avenue in the Arleta area.

Fire resources responding to the incident found an outside fire on the property of the Arleta Assembly of God Church. Because of the quick response by fire personnel the fire was knocked down in only fifteen minutes and the damage to the property was limited to the door, under the eaves and one broken window. The pastor and some employees of the church were unaware that there was a fire on the property until the arrival of Fire personnel.

There were no injuries. Damage was estimated at $2,000 to the exterior of the structure. Pursuant of protocol, the regional 'House of Worship Arson Task Force' was deployed to the scene, and have declared the blaze to be arson. The incident remains an active investigation by the Task Force member agencies.

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Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department