Residential Fire Reveals Ammunition Storage in Reseda

Sunday, May 31, 2009 |

On Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 8:43 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, L.A. County Health Haz Mat, the Red Cross, DOT and assistance of the LAPD Bomb Squad & Supervisor, responded to reports of an EXPLOSION at 19227 W. Ingomar St. in the Reseda area.

Initial reports to responding Firefighters indicated a container was on fire with ammunition exploding, located behind a single family dwelling. As Firefighters arrived on scene, they found 2 outbuildings and a storage container well involved with fire, with confirmation that "thousands of rounds of ammunition" were going off. Firefighters aggressively deployed handlines to achieve a quick knockdown of the blaze, as additional manpower was requested by the IC. For the safety of Firefighters, protective vests were donned and portable monitors were expeditiously set-up 40 to 50 feet away as an indirect firefighting method to assist in containing the fire and cooling the contents of the container.

As the bulk of the fire was knocked down, the LAPD Bomb Squad was requested to assist with the incident. 5 properties, surrounding the buildings of fire origin, were evacuated as a precaution to the residents. The owner of the property arrived on scene to assist Fire and Police with information regarding storage inside the container and sheds.

It took 82 Firefighters 1 hour, 56 minutes to completely knockdown the fire. No injuries to civilians or Firefighters were reported. The Red Cross, Canteen Services, was requested for the evacuated residents. The cause and dollar loss estimate is undetermined until the completion of the fire investigation.

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Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Candle Sparks Blaze in NoHo Shoe Warehouse

Saturday, May 30, 2009 |

On Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 1:30 PM, 22 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 9 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 3 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 4 EMS Battalion Captains, 6 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 166 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 6818 Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood.

© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view moreFirefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke showing from the rear of a 6,675 square-foot one story industrial building. Forcing entry through rolling steel doors, firefighters extended handlines to do fierce battle with well-entrenched flames in a shoe warehouse densely pack with combustible goods, including footwear and packaging.

© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view moreSwift and well coordinated action by firefighters brought full extinguishment of the flames in just 51 minutes. The fire caused significant damage to the building inventory, but remained within the confines of the nearly six decade old non-fire sprinklered structure.

The business owner suffered minor smoke exposure while escaping the flames, and a Los Angeles Firefighter sustained an eye injury while making forcible entry. Both men were taken by LAFD Ambulance to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where they were treated and released.

LAFD Heavy Equipment Company personnel from the Special Operations Division responded to assist with the removal and overhaul of smoldering debris, an endeavor that kept firefighters on scene for more than twelve hours.

Loss to "Hollywood Heels" a wholesaler of fashion footwear, is still being tabulated.

The cause of the blaze is categorized as accidental, and attributed to a lit candle.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Fire Station Construction Update

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This week's groundbreaking for new Fire Station 82 in Hollywood gives us an opportunity to highlight the LAFD projects made possible by Proposition F, the November 2000 bond measure overwhelmingly approved by Los Angeles residents to replace 19 existing Fire Stations and construct one new Fire Station.

Cost savings through Proposition F oversight have made it likely that one additional replacement Fire Station can be constructed with remaining funds.

The Los Angeles Fire Department is pleased to provide a status update regarding the twenty-one above mentioned Fire Stations, as well as two non-Prop F projects.

Here is a current overview:

- Fire Station 89 (North Hollywood), Regional Station at the current location of 7063 Laurel Canyon Boulevard. A groundbreaking ceremony on August 20, 2003 marked the start of construction on an apparatus storage facility and training classroom. That work was completed in August 2004 and a Grand Opening ceremony was held on December 9, 2004. Fire Station expansion will use Proposition Q funds.

- Fire Station 77 (Sun Valley), Standard Station at 9224 Sunland Boulevard. A groundbreaking ceremony on October 24, 2003 marked the start of construction on a new 6-bay fire station. The new station opened for service on June 22, 2005. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on September 17, 2005.

- Fire Station 83 (Encino), Standard Station at 4960 Balboa Boulevard. A groundbreaking ceremony on April 26, 2004 marked the start of construction on a new 6-bay fire station. The new station opened for service on January 19, 2006. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on February 26, 2006.

- Fire Station 5 (Westchester/LAX), Regional Station at 8900 Emerson Avenue. A groundbreaking ceremony on May 13, 2004 marked the start of construction on a new 7-bay fire station, apparatus storage facility and classroom. The new station opened for service on April 13, 2006. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on June 24, 2006.

- Fire Station 65 (Watts), Standard Station at 1801 East Century Boulevard. A groundbreaking ceremony on May 10, 2004 marked the start of construction on a new 6-bay fire station. The new station opened for service on July 20, 2006. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on September 30, 2006.

- Fire Station 59 (Sawtelle/West LA), Regional Station at the current location of 11505 West Olympic Boulevard. Construction of a training and apparatus storage building was completed November 1, 2006. A Grand Opening ceremony to recognize that project and a Fire Station expansion utilizing Prop Q funds was held on April 14, 2007.

- Fire Station 114 (Van Nuys Airport), LAFD Air Operations and Airport Rescue Firefighting facility at 16617 Arminta Street at Van Nuys Airport. A groundbreaking ceremony on June 26, 2004 marked the start of construction for a multi-role facility that provides airfield emergency response as well as serving as the operational base and maintenance site for all LAFD helicopters. The station opened for service on March 8, 2007. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on May 31, 2008.

- Fire Station 81 (Panorama City/North Van Nuys), Standard Station and Drill Tower at 14355 Arminta Street. A groundbreaking ceremony on June 14, 2004 marked the start of construction on a new 7-bay fire station, drill tower, recruit training center and apparatus storage facility. The station opened for service on March 19, 2007. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on July 14, 2007.

- Fire Station 62 (Mar Vista), Standard Station at 11970 West Venice Boulevard. A groundbreaking ceremony on October 17, 2005 recognized the June 2005 start of construction on a new 6-bay fire station, which opened for service on May 29, 2007. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on January 5, 2008.

- Fire Station 84 (Warner Center/Woodland Hills), Regional Station at 21050 Burbank Boulevard. A groundbreaking ceremony on September 9, 2004 marked the start of construction for a new 7-bay fire station, apparatus storage facility and classroom. The station opened for service on September 18, 2007. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on November 1, 2008.

- Fire Station 36 (San Pedro), New Satellite Fire Station at 1005 North Gaffey Street. A groundbreaking ceremony on May 2, 2005 marked the start of construction on the new 3-bay station, which opened for service on July 8, 2007. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on November 10, 2007.

- Fire Station 43 (Palms), Standard Station at 3690 Motor Avenue at Regent Street. A groundbreaking ceremony on February 6, 2006 marked the start of construction for a new 6-bay fire station that opened for service on September 25, 2007. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on August 16, 2008.

- Fire Station 87 (Granada Hills), Regional Station at 10124 Balboa Boulevard. A groundbreaking ceremony on September 19, 2005 marked the start of construction on a new 7-bay fire station, apparatus storage facility and classroom that opened for service on November 11, 2007. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on May 3, 2008.

- Fire Station 67 (Playa Vista), a non-Prop F new Standard Station at 5451 Playa Vista Drive. A groundbreaking ceremony on December 16, 2004 marked the start of construction on a new 7-bay fire station that opened for service on October 15, 2007. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on February 16, 2008.

- Fire Station 13 (Koreatown/Pico-Union), Standard Station at 2401 West Pico Boulevard. A groundbreaking ceremony on July 10, 2006 marked the start of construction on a new 6-bay fire station that opened for service on August 5, 2008. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on February 28, 2009.

- Fire Station 21 (South Los Angeles), Regional Station at 1192 East 51st Street behind the existing station. A groundbreaking ceremony on April 3, 2006 marked the start of construction on a new 6-bay fire station, apparatus storage shed and classroom that opened for service on November 18, 2008. A Grand Opening ceremony date is soon to be confirmed.

- Fire Station 4 (Civic Center), Standard Station and Dispatch Center at 450 East Temple Street. A groundbreaking ceremony on January 19, 2006 recognized the start of construction on a new 7-bay fire station, Fire Dispatch Center and City EOC. The Fire Station element of this multi-faceted project opened for service on December 2, 2008 and a Grand Opening ceremony was held on October 17, 2009. The in-service date for the new Fire Department Dispatch Center has yet to be scheduled.

- Fire Station 78 (Studio City/Valley Village), Standard Station at 4041 Whitsett Avenue. A groundbreaking ceremony on October 23, 2006 marked the start of construction on a new 6-bay fire station that opened for service on September 30, 2008. A Grand Opening ceremony was held on January 18, 2009.

- Fire Station 31 (Sylmar), a non-Prop F new Standard Station at 16320 Foothill Boulevard. A groundbreaking ceremony on November 1, 2006 highlighted the Department's intent to construct a new Neighborhood Fire Station serving the far north San Fernando Valley. A completion date has yet to be determined.

- Fire Station 64 (South Los Angeles), Regional Station at 10811 South Main Street. A groundbreaking ceremony on February 15, 2007 marked the start of construction on a new 7-bay fire station, apparatus storage shed and classroom that opened for service on July 7, 2009. A Grand Opening ceremony has yet to be scheduled.

- Fire Station 94 (Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw), Regional Station at current location, 4470 Coliseum Street. A groundbreaking ceremony on February 21, 2008 marked the start of construction for an enhanced facility that includes an expanded Fire Station, apparatus storage building and multi-purpose room. Completion is scheduled in December 2009.

- Fire Station 82 (Hollywood), will consist of a unique 3-story Fire Station with underground parking at 5769 Hollywood Boulevard, as well as an annex constructed at the site of the current station at 1800 North Bronson Avenue. A groundbreaking ceremony on May 28, 2009 marked the start of construction at the Hollywood Boulevard site. Completion is scheduled for February 2011.

- Fire Station 7 (Arleta), is to be an additional replacement station made likely through availabile Proposition F funds. A site for new Fire Station 7 has yet to be selected.

Comprehensive information regarding each Proposition F Fire Station project, including construction photos, can also be accessed via a detailed monthly report in PDF format.

If you have questions or concerns about the Proposition F Projects listed above, please visit:

www.lafd.org/propf.htm


..or call the LAFD Proposition F Team directly at (213) 202-3455.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Chief Douglas Barry Announces Retirement

Friday, May 29, 2009 |

Los Angeles Fire Chief Douglas Barry announced his intent to retire at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

KTTV-TV's John Schwada reports...



Chief Barry issued this statement to LAFD members Thursday morning...

"For the past two-and-a-half years, I have had the honor and privilege of serving you and the people of Los Angeles as Fire Chief. It has been the proudest time of my 34-year career and so it is with a deep sense of gratitude that I announce my intent to retire effective August 30, 2009.

As I reflect back, I am proudest of what we as a Department have accomplished together. We have brought about a unity of purpose and have moved our Department to even higher levels of professionalism both operationally and in our work environment. We have made great strides in strengthening our future leaders by giving them the tools they need to be successful.

I am encouraged by the current spirit of the Department and believe it is on the verge of achieving bigger and better things. It is my strong belief that the progress and improvements we have achieved together will have long lasting positive impacts.

Over the next several months I will continue to focus on the future of the Department and will ensure that there is a seamless transition of leadership. I will give my all, and I ask you to do the same, in making the Department’s next leader equally successful.

In closing, I cannot put into words my appreciation for the support and encouragement I’ve received from all levels of the Department. It has been a humbling, unforgettable experience. I thank all of you, sworn and civilian for making my time as Fire Chief such a rewarding experience. I owe all of you a debt of gratitude."


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Damages Five Vehicles in Valley Glen

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 |

On Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 3:16 AM, 7 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 53 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West responded to a Structure Fire at 5735 Woodman Avenue in the Valley Glen area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find several vehicles ablaze in a partially concealed parking alcove nested on the west side of a 2 story apartment building.

Licensed Image - Mandatory Credit: LAFD Photo by Harry Garvin. Click to learn more...Swiftly tackling the flames with handlines, firefighters confined the blaze to five vehicles in the non-fire sprinklered parking area, preventing flames from extending within the 14 apartments adjacent and above.

Fire extension into exterior wall space of the 13,165 square-foot building was severely limited and quickly curtailed by the use of thermal imaging cameras to precisely guide fire control efforts. The flames were extinguished in just 30 minutes.

During fireground operations one firefighter sustained a shoulder injury. He was transported to Sherman Oaks Hospital in fair condition.

No other injuries were reported, and no residents were displaced by the fire.

Loss from the blaze is still being tabulated. The cause of this early morning fire remains under active investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Groundbreaking For New Fire Station in Hollywood

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 |

Artist Concept for New LAFD Station 82You are cordially invited to join civic and community leaders, including Fire Chief Douglas Barry at the groundbreaking ceremony for new Los Angeles Fire Station 82 in Hollywood. Please join us...

Thursday, May 28, 2009
10:00 AM
Site of New Fire Station 82
5769 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028


We are pleased to offer an interactive map with driving directions to this groundbreaking ceremony. All are welcome.

A Brief History of Fire Station 82...

Established in the midst of World War II and housed in the distant and overcrowded quarters of LAFD's historic Fire Station 27 for its first 7 years, Engine Company 82 came to serve the burst of population and industry in Hollywood during the Truman presidency, when residents and City leaders saw the need to construct a neighborhood station for the crew at 1800 North Bronson Avenue.

Current LAFD Station 82 built in 1951Opened on March 2, 1951 adjacent to the "Cahuenga Parkway" that would become the well known Hollywood (US 101) Freeway in 1954, the 7,145 square-foot single-bay Fire Station soon became an integral part of a largely residential community that, like the LAFD, greatly evolved in the nearly six decades that followed.

Today's Fire Station 82, staffed at all times by four Firefighters and two Firefighter/Paramedics, protects a nearly 2 square mile district that is a busy mix of high density residential and commercial properties, television studios, entertainment and tourist sites, not to mention a portion of legendary Griffith Park that contains the iconic "Hollywood" sign.

Were this not enough, the station crew also bears the primary responsibility of protecting hundreds of homes constructed in rugged terrain surrounded by volatile vegetation.

LAFD Station 82 crew circa 1964. Photo from Bob Foster collection courtesy of LAFIRE.COM - Click to learn more...For those working inside the 58-year-old building that is today's Station 82, the electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems have changed little since the above photo was taken, and remain a daily impediment to efficient operations.

Many of the current Fire Station's neighbors still look on in amazement as the staff at the single-bay Fire Station scrambles to move one or more vehicles when an emergency response calls for only the Engine Company or the Ambulance, merely to see the process repeated again and again around-the-clock as the crews return to quarters and are again dispatched to emergencies.

Equally foreboding for both workers and visitors to the current station are deficiencies in parking, seismic safety, climate control, ADA compliance and gender equity.

Because the property beneath current Fire Station 82 was too small to support a new or revamped Fire Station, Proposition F of November 2000 will provide the community with a new and unique facility on the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue.

The energy efficient New Fire Station 82 will be a multi-bay facility with a vision for the future, allowing the LAFD to provide the highest levels of service to a community it is long proud to have been a part of.

We look forward to seeing you this Thursday morning for the groundbreaking ceremony, and encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 82 via a detailed Monthly Progress Report in PDF format accessible through:

www.lafd.org/propf.htm



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighter Injured, Cat Perishes in Brentwood Blaze

Monday, May 25, 2009 |

On Sunday, May 24, 2009 at 7:41 PM, 17 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 8 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Emergency Air Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 2 Hazardous Materials Teams, 4 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 128 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, as well as one CERT Coordinator, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Jeffrey S. Mottram responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 11666 West Goshen Avenue in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles.

Image courtesy of Robert Schwartzstein. Twitter: @rschwartzstein. Click to view more...Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire showing from the top floor of a 3-story apartment building.

Swiftly extending handlines, firefighters did fierce battle within the two-story unit, preventing the flames from spreading to other parts of the densely built and non-fire sprinklered wood-clad structure.

The fire was confined to the unoccupied apartment of origin and extinguished in just 53 minutes.

During the intense attack on the flames, a Fire Captain sustained severe but non-life threatening muscular injury, and remains hospitalized pending surgical consultation.


While seeking to recover and preserve the resident's personal property from the charred unit, firefighters discovered the remains of one pet cat that succumbed at the scene.

Though another cat was initially believed to have perished in the flames, the formerly missing feline was found later in the neighborhood with serious burn injuries. A community based effort is now underway to support the care and rehabilitation of 'Dokes'. See his Facebook page or call (310) 473-2951.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze is categorized as accidental, and attributed to a combustible item left on or near the stove.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Crews Hold Grass Fire to 10 Acres in El Sereno

Friday, May 22, 2009 |

On Friday, May 22, 2009 at 4:57 PM, 16 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 3 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 2 CERT Coordinators, L.A. County Fire Department, DWP and DOT, under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West, responded to a Major Emergency Grass Fire at 2580 N. Soto St. in the El Sereno area.

Firefighters were responding to a reported grass fire, when they encountered what appeared to be a minor traffic collision enroute to the incident. The responding Firefighters radioed the information and continued enroute to the grass fire incident, as companies were dispatched to the traffic collision. On arrival, they found 2 acres of grass burning uphill towards homes and apartments located at the hills crest. A full brush assignment with helicopters and additional engines was requested to provide structure protection to the residences.

104 L.A. City Firefighters, with an assist from four L.A. County Fire Department hand crews and helicopter, needed 1 hour and 35 minutes to contain the grass fire to 10 acres. There were no evacuations and no injuries reported. The cause of the fire was determined to be a downed power pole and high tension wires caused by the traffic accident encountered by responding companies enroute to the grass incident. Fire companies will patrol the area to assure no rekindles occur during the night. The El Sereno neighborhood had not experienced a grass or brush fires the previous 2 years. The mustard grass was approximately 5 feet in height in the area.

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Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Displaces 10 in Artisan Building

Saturday, May 16, 2009 |

On Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 2:59 AM, 13 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, Emergency Air 1, Building & Safety Inspector, LAPD, DOT and DWP,under the direction of Battalion Chief Raymundo Gomez, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1328 S. Santa Fe Av. in the Industrial Eastside of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived on scene to find a three story, center hall apartment building with heavy fire and smoke showing from 1 unit on the third floor. The building was remodeled from a center hall apartment building to artisan lofts. As Firefighters diligently tried to extend handlines, their efforts were slowed by the mass exodus of residents from the building. A request was made to place ladders at the fire escapes, providing residents an alternate escape route. The primary search of the building found no residents left inside the structure. The ventilation team, consisting of 2 truck companies, provided 3 good "heat holes" for the escape of hot gases and pressurized smoke which had built up inside the structure. Salvage operations were deployed to the 1st and 2nd floors, with the most significant water damage confined to the third floor.

It took 101 Firefighters to knock the fire down in 25 minutes. There were no injuries reported to civilians or Firefighters. The cause was determined as electrical with an estimated dollar loss of $45,000 [$25,000 contents, $20,000 structure]. A Building and Safety Inspector was requested to assess the structural integrity of the building. The Red Cross was called to assist 10 individuals displaced.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Apartment Building Evacuated as Local Business Burns

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On Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 4:00 AM, 15 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 6 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 1 CERT Coordinator, DOT, DWP and the Red Cross, under the direction of Battalion Chief Rudy Hill responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1651 N. Murchison St. in the Hillside Village/University Hills area.

Firefighters responding to a reported structure fire, saw a huge "loom up", verifying the fire dispatch. The first arriving Firefighters on scene found a 1 story, commercial building with heavy smoke and fire showing through the roof of the structure. The 75 foot by 150 foot building would pose an access problem to the "C" side of the building, with a partially collapsed perimeter fence and downed high tension wires, where an apartment building was a potential exposure. Additional companies were requested and arrived quickly, having just completed a greater alarm structure fire not far away.

Firefighters began an ambitious interior attack with 2-1/2 inch hand lines and portable monitors in an attempt to gain control of the early morning blaze. 18 minutes into the firefight, the IC called for the withdrawal of all interior firefighting handlines and converting to a defensive posture with master stream appliances. The apartment building on the "C" side of the involved structure began to smoke at the eaves and approximately 100 residents were promptly evacuated from the occupancy.

It took 115 Firefighters 1 hour and 47 minutes to call a knockdown on this fire. There were no injuries to civilians or Firefighters. The business, Plastic Importer, was a distribution hub for plastics. The cause and dollar loss estimate are undetermined until the completion of the fire investigation.

(video) (photos)

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Animals Share Our Environment

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 |

A frantic 911 call to the Fire Dispatch:

Caller: “I want to report a snake bite.”
Dispatcher: “Where is the snake now? In the house or in the yard?”
Caller: “I don’t know. We’re in the car taking the dog to the hospital.”

All joking aside, with the decrease in rainfall and the increase of dead vegetation, animals are forced to forage for food, water and coolness in other areas – your area! Now that the weather is getting warmer, have you noticed an increase in the animal bite stories?

Animal internal mechanisms has assisted them in responding to hot, dry conditions in various ways. Obvious ways of coping with heat include seeking shade and burrowing or preferring to rest under a bush, rock or in a crevice during the cooler temperatures of the early morning or afternoon. Snakebites occur more frequently in warm weather, when people are more active outdoors. Most bites occur on the legs or feet when the animal is startled or disturbed. Most try to avoid an encounter, only biting as a last resort. Approximately 10,000 snake bites are reported each year, less than ten are fatal, yet the after effects of the poison secreted to the skin can cause scaring, tissue and/or nerve damage.

Poisonous snake bites are medical emergencies, with children at a higher risk for death or serious complications because of their smaller body size. Getting the person to an emergency room as quickly as possible is very important. If properly treated, many snakebites will not have serious effects.

TYPES OF POISONOUS SNAKES

Two families of venomous snakes are native to the United States the Pit Viper (includes rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths or water moccasins) and coral snakes. Pit Viper is derived from a small pit between the nostril and the eye on each side of its head. The bite of the Pit Viper is a lightning-fast strike, usually to the leg or hand, as the snake injects venom from its two fangs. Coral snakes inject venom by chewing on the victim. They often allow you to handle them for long periods of time before biting.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department would like to share some of the following safety tips in preparation of the "long, hot and dry summer."

  • Find out what local snakes and lizards are common to your area. Learn what they look like, whether they are poisonous, and where you are most likely to encounter them.
  • Avoid areas where snakes may be hiding -- under rocks, logs, etc.
  • Avoid picking up or handling snakes. Even with a severed head, a snake can release venom through reflexes for up to an hour after it death.
  • If you see a snake or lizard, do not disturb it. The striking range of a snake is about half of its length.
  • When hiking in an area known to have snakes, wear long pants and boots if possible.
  • Tap ahead of you with a long walking stick before entering an area with an obscured view of your feet, especially foot tall grass, weeds or small brush. Snakes will attempt to avoid you if given adequate warning.
  • If you are a frequent hiker, consider purchasing a snakebite kit (available from hiking supply stores.)

SIGNS OF A POISONOUS BITE

RECOMMENDED FIRST AID

  • Keep the person calm. Reassure them that snake bites can be treated effectively in an emergency room. Restrict the person’s movement, keeping the affected area below heart level to reduce the flow of venom.
  • Remove any rings or items that can cause constriction causing the affected area to swell. Create a loose splint to help restrict movement of the affected area.
  • Monitor the person's vital signs -- temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure -- if possible. If there are signs of shock (such as paleness), lay the person flat, raise the feet about a foot, and cover the person with a blanket.
  • Get medical help immediately.

DO NOT

  • Apply tourniquets
  • Apply cold compresses
  • Cut into a snake bite with a knife or razor
  • Try to suction the venom out using the mouth
  • Raise the site of the bite above the level of the person's heart

THE FOLLOWING WEB SITES CAN BE ACCESSED FOR INFORMATION

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies
Los Angeles Fire Department

Girls Meet L.A. Firefighters Who Saved Them

Sunday, May 10, 2009 |

Yesterday's annual citywide celebration of 'Fire Service Recognition Day' in Los Angeles took on special meaning to more than two-dozen firefighters assigned to LAFD Stations 34, 66 and 94 in Southwest Los Angeles.

It was on Christmas night 2006 that personnel from those stations were summoned to a raging house fire that would forever change one family, and leave firefighters wondering about the survival of two young girls they dramatically rescued from the flames that took their grandparents lives.

KTTV-TV's Liz Habib reports...



While Shannon and Amanda's story of survival remains captivating, we would be remiss if we did not emphasize the fire prevention, smoke alarm and egress issues that played a role in this tragic blaze.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Responds to 'Jesusita' Wildfire near Santa Barbara

Friday, May 08, 2009 |

Pursuant of a formal Mutual Aid Request, the Los Angeles Fire Department has assigned four Strike Teams of firefighters to assist the Santa Barbara Fire Department, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, CAL FIRE, the U.S. Forest Service and allied agencies in their battle against a wind-driven brush fire near Santa Barbara, California, 75 miles northwest of our City.


Along with official state and federal information, you can view a larger (non-official) map

These 90 personnel from the Los Angeles Fire Department have been dispatched to the "Jesusita Wildland Fire" in accordance with California's Fire & Rescue Emergency Mutual Aid System. Administered by the California Emergency Management Agency, the system is designed to ensure additional resources to local jurisdictions whenever their 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.

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, official public and media information regarding this wildfire, including the actions of assigned LAFD personnel, will be provided jointly through the City and County of Santa Barbara, CAL FIRE, the U.S. Forest Service and agencies that maintain daily jurisdictional authority of the area where the fire is burning.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Help Firefighters Stop Arson For Profit

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 |

Help Los Angeles Firefighters put an end to arson. Click to learn more...According to the Insurance Information Institute, arsonists destroyed nearly $900 million in insured property and killed 295 civilians nationwide in 2007.

Arson for Profit is when businesses or individuals set fires to reduce financial loss, recoup investments or dispose of depreciated assets - usually for a payout from insurance companies.

The National Fire Protection Association says that in 2005 an estimated 323,900 intentional fires reported to U.S. Fire Departments resulted 3 firefighter on-duty deaths, 1,500 civilian fire injuries and 7,600 firefighter on-duty injuries.

These avoidable costs are too great to ignore. If you suspect someone has or will commit arson, report them to law enforcement officials before it is too late.

Firefighters and innocent families are endangered when desperate people illegally burn their homes, businesses and cars for insurance bailouts. Arson is also raising insurance premiums at a time of great financial uncertainty.

To reduce your chance of becoming an arson victim, the U.S. Fire Administration and Los Angeles Fire Department recommend...

  • Secure and monitor unoccupied and abandoned buildings.
  • Remove trash, debris and other combustible items.
  • Remove or securely store flammable material and chemicals.
  • Lock your doors and windows.
  • Report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
  • Support local Neighborhood Watch programs.
  • Provide exterior and entrance illumination.
  • Remove garbage cans during nonschool hours.
  • Keep dumpsters at least 10 feet from buildings and overhangs.
  • Place discarded materials in secured containers.
  • Lock and secure your vehicle.
To learn more, contact your Neignborhood Firefighters or visit:

www.usfa.dhs.gov


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Not Seen on Television: "LAFD - Valley Glen"

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 |

Something you won't see this fall on television: "LAFD - Valley Glen" the video, by Jebtech Studios.



Have you captured the Los Angeles Fire Department in action? Post your photos on Flickr and your videos on YouTube.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Blaze Erupts in Vacant Eastside Commercial Building

Sunday, May 03, 2009 |

On Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 8:37 AM, 19 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 132 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Richard Warford, joined by a CERT Coordinator, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 633 South Mission Road in the Boyle Heights area.

© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...Firefighters arrived quickly in an industrial neighborhood to find smoke showing from a large one-story commercial structure. Forcing entry and extending handlines deep into the smoke charged 39,800 square-foot building under renovation, firefighters discovered a large quantity of burning foam rubber debris in the central portion of the vacant building.

The fire, held in check by fire sprinklers, was confined by firefighters to the burning debris and extinguished in just 43 minutes.

There were no injuries.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $100,000. The cause of this blaze remains under investigation.

(photos)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire in San Pedro Four-plex Displaces 12

Saturday, May 02, 2009 |

On Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 7:17 AM, 7 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team and a Building and Safety Inspector, under the direction of Battalion Chief Robert Willcox, responded to a Structure Fire at 251 W. 11th Street in the San Pedro/Ports O' Call area.

Firefighters responded to a reported structure fire in a 2 story four-plex occupancy. As Firefighters arrived on scene, they found 1 unit on the first floor fully involved in fire. Firefighters made an immense effort deploying handlines on the intensely burning fire. The 1919 constructed four-plex, was illegally converted into several small living quarters for the inhabitants of the occupancy.

The compartmentalization of the residence and the older balloon construction contributed to the rapid spread of the fire to the a second floor unit and the attic, challenging Firefighters. The ventilation team worked energetically, cutting several heat holes to gain control of the fire.

It took 58 Firefighters 33 minutes to knockdown the fire. A Building and Safety Inspector was notified and the occupancy was "red tagged." One male resident, 51, was transported in stable condition with smoke inhalation. One Firefighter was also slightly injured with minor burns. Both men were transported to area hospitals. The cause of the early morning blaze was determined to be electrical. The dollar loss was estimated at $225,000 [$200,000 structure, $25,000 contents]. The Red Cross assisted 11 adults and 1 teen who were displaced with alternative housing.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies on behalf of Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department

Late Night Haz Mat Scare in Brentwood

Friday, May 01, 2009 |

On Friday, May 1, 2009 at 10:53 PM, 4 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Hazardous Materials Teams, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Curt Klafta, responded to a reported HAZ MAT incident at 800 N. Sepulveda Bl. in the Brentwood area.

Firefighters responded to the report of the strong smell of gas by a Chevron representative. The first arriving Firefighters on scene upgraded the incident to a full Haz Mat assignment. The investigation revealed high hydrocarbon levels at a manhole cover from an unknown source. As a precaution, Sepulveda Boulevard was shut down between Sunset Boulevard and Moraga Drive and the northbound Moraga offramp from the 405 freeway.

Initial readings indicated 100% concentration inside the manhole and above ground readings registered zero. Concerns of the IC included a 26 inch Southern California gas line, two 8 inch gasoline lines, a 14 inch crude line and 2 apartment complexes located 50 yards away. Evacuation was considered, but not implemented. 90 minutes into the incident, the Haz Mat team readings indicated concentrations of only 5%. The incident was downgraded with the assistance of L.A. County Health Haz Mat. The investigation will continue.

Submitted by d'Lisa Davies on behalf of Lauren deRosier, OCD Dispatcher
Los Angeles Fire Department