Firefighters Battle a Blaze in a Hollywood Hills Home

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 |

On Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 6:32 AM, 13 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 4 Arson Units, 3 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 Helicopters, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, and Los Angeles County Fire Department under the direction of Assistant Chief Mark Stormes responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 2047 North Sunset Plaza Drive in the Hollywood Hills.

The owner of a five level multi million dollar home reportedly awoke to the sound of breaking glass, and stated he rushed upstairs in anticipation of a burglary to find the upper level of his home engulfed in flames.

Engine and Rescue 97 responded up the curvy hill on Sunset Plaza Drive in less than eight minutes to find fire blowing out the windows and skylights of an approximate 7500 square feet hillside home. Firefighters immediately utilized a wagon battery to quickly knock down the bulk of the flames from the exterior, making the structure tenable for an interior attack with well coordinated attack of handlines. Truck Companies then went to the roof and started vertical ventilation to assist in the attack, control, and extinguishment the structure fire.

It took 109 firefighters just 38 minutes to obtain a knockdown, however an extended overhaul and detailed salvage operation took place to minimize damage to precious pieces of art and protect luxury automobiles inside the structure. No injuries were reported.
The fire loss has been estimated at 7,000,000 dollars, (one million for the structure and six million for the contents). The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Scott, This fire maybe a huge problem for the LAFD. I noticed while looking at the blog, LAFD was sent to the wrong address listed as 2027 instead of 2047 as it shows in the LAFD Blog. This will give the homeowner a big leg to stand on in a lawsuit claiming it took way to long to respond. This home is owned by a very well connected Attorney. I am just an outsider looking in. Keep up the great work and don't let this bother the LAFD. That's why the County has insurance.

TBChick said...

Thank you Erik Scott for giving us a link to the various fire fighting terms that you use in your great posts. I no longer have to wonder what you are talking about or have to go hunting on the internet for the information. I can just click and there it is.

Now, if we could just get you and Devin Gales to join Brian Humphrey on Twitter with @LAFDtalk or better still with your own LAFD accounts, we would have the opportunity to get to know both of you. Please think about it.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I know this house and it's located on one of the most dangerous, steep and winding streets in the city; I'm sure it was no easy task to get to the property. Now the residents and guests of the properties in those hills understand why the no parking signs are so important!

I would be cautious of accusing the LAFD of showing up at the wrong address just because a BLOG says so... Not sure how the fire department could arrive at the wrong address considering the house they were aiming for was obviously on fire and easy to spot. The properties are one inch apart on that street, so I'm sure that if they parked in front of the neighbor's, it still means that they arrived at the correct location. It's impossible for that many fire engines to park in front of one house on Sunset Plaza Drive!

Let's give our guys a break, they did their job and prevented greater loss. It's unfortunate that Mr. Witzer lost what he did, but at least he's still here. He's a fierce attorney if you know his record; I'm sure he will do just fine in recuping his losses.

Anonymous said...

its not the FDs fault for getting an incorrect address, that would be the fault of the person who called in the incident. it happens all the time.

Anonymous said...

Blame it on the brownouts, unfair to the LA community that the LAFD is not in force 24/7 ask your mayor, I know that the fire stations in that area where closed due to the brownouts, its a matter of time when in fact it takes the life of a LA citizen or LAFD firefighter.
Frank

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 11:05,

Though I have yet to perform specific research on this incident - as others have mentioned, your Los Angeles Firefighters had no difficulty whatsoever in quickly finding this freely burning home, which sent huge columns of smoke into to the sky.

Please know that it is common for Fire Departments across the globe to receive initial calls from adjacent or nearby homes, and to use that 'reporting address' at the time of initial dispatch. If one thinks about it, it's not entirely reasonable to expect a passerby or even a long time neighbor to give an *exact* address for a home 'on the next block'.

While we appreciate your saying "keep up the great work", we must strongly decry any sentiment inferring our agency to culpable for any wrongdoing at this fire. Were such to be true though, pleae know it would not be "the county" held liable.

TBChick,

Thanks for your continued interest in the Los Angeles Fire Department. We are fortunate to have Devin Gales and Erik Scott on our team, and like you, I look forward to their increasingly active presence on-line.

That much said, while we welcome an opportunity (and should indeed feel compelled) to explain via hyperlink some basic terminology used in our vocation, such as salvage and overhaul, our reports have historically been at most 'midly-technical' and written to be timely, relevant and appealing to the general public.

While we will continue work at linking to relevant on-line content, please know there is no motion afoot to make our widely syndicated blog so 'inside baseball' that it becomes jargon filled with technical and agency-specific terminology to the point of alienating our core non-Fire Service audience.

Anonymous 6:01,

Thank you for understanding that your Neighborhood Firefighters (who quickly and easily found the blaze) must do their best in what can at times be an imperfect world.

Anonymous 8:34,

While there certainly is a time and place to discuss or debate the LAFD's Modified Coverage Plan, this doesn't happen to be a relevant incident to do so.

# # #

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

What was the cause of the fire??

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 3:55, LAFD Investigators still consider this an active investigation, and have not (yet) offered any categorical updates or statements for us to provide via the blog.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

My wife and I were watching your videos until we heard the abusive language being used as we watched the "Go Video" @ FS 1. That kind of language is still offensive to families, especialy with children. The part about where the firefighter's axe is...Thanks for ruining a little boy's "hero moment",we had to turn it off and try and explain...

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous 5:22PM, thank you for the note, and for bringing this citizen produced video to our attention.

The video you mention (like many on YouTube) is not an official product of, nor is it controlled or endorsed by your Los Angeles Fire Department.

Sadly, the video - filmed and obviously narrarated by a civilian visitor to the fire station, came up in an automated rotational display on YouTube.

Though we have no way of controlling what members of the community utter near a live camera or the decision of someone to post such video on-line, we have visited the video's hosting site and posted a clear message that the video contains an offensive vulgarity.

The men and women of your Fire Department, including those assigned to Fire Station #1 in Lincoln Heights, take great pride in the their work ethic and professionalism.

I would therefore like to invite you and your wife to be my guest for lunch at that station, so that you can have a chance to meet the crew and affirm your rightfully held belief that such behavior and language is not considered acceptable in your neighborhood fire station.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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