Greater Alarm Brush Fire in Montecito Heights

Saturday, September 26, 2009 |

On Friday, September 25, 2009 at 2:34 PM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, and 1 civilian CERT Coordinator under the direction of Battalion Chief Rudy Hill responded to a Brush Fire at 400 East Avenue 43 in Montecito Heights.

Firefighters arrived to find a half acre of grass burning along a hill threatening houses above and below. Hand lines were immediately deployed to suppress the flames and a full brush assignment with helicopters and additional engines was requested to provide structure protection to the residences. Firefighters not only had to battle fire through the grass and in structures, but downed power lines posed additional threats not to mention the triple digit temperatures.

Battalion Chief Hill stated, “One two-story garage with a converted room on the second story was well involved with fire and also two other out buildings suffered damage."

A knockdown was obtained by 91 firefighters in just 33 minutes at 3:07 p.m. The dollar loss was totaled at $170,000 ($125,000 for the structure and $45,000 for the contents). The cause was accidental. No injuries were reported and no evacuations were necessary.

Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Battles Fire at Tesoro Oil Refinery

Friday, September 25, 2009 |

On Friday, September 25, 2009 at 5:04 AM, 29 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 9 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 4 EMS Battalion Captains, 9 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, and 3 Foam Tenders under the direction of Assistant Chief Robert Franco responded to a Refinery Fire at 2101 East Pacific Coast Highway in the Wilmington area.

Light Force and Rescue Ambulance 38 arrived to find a large black column of smoke rising straight in the air from the Tesoro Refinery. This refinery produces 97,000 barrels of crude oil a day and is located only 23 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

As additional firefighters arrived, heavy hose streams were initiated. Task Force Commanders used ladder pipe operations which are capable of delivering 1000 GPM depending on the type of the tip used. Portable monitors, which are heavy stream appliances used in a similar manner as wagon batteries and ladder pipes were also put into operation to supply a significant amount of water on the fire quickly.

Lynn Westfall, SVP of External Affairs and Chief Economist of Tesoro stated, “The fire broke out in the coking unit at Tesoro's Wilmington refinery. The cause is under investigation and the amount of damage to the affected unit is unknown at this time. The plant is still operational but at a reduced capacity".

Two Hundred One Los Angeles firefighters along with 35 Tesoro Fire Brigade firefighters were able to obtain a knockdown in three hours and 39 minutes at 8:43 am.

No injuries were reported, although citizens in a one mile radius were briefly encouraged to remain indoors.



Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

Mother Makes 'Special Delivery' at LAFD Station 99

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 |

Like all members of the Los Angeles Fire Department, the crew at Fire Station 99 in the Beverly Glen area of Los Angeles, is certified to provide prompt and effective medical care.

Last night, "prompt and effective" took on a new meaning for the eight personnel on duty, when a most welcome emergency arrived at their doorstep.

NewsCentral's Suraya Fadel reports...


A Calabasas couple, enroute to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to give birth to their second child, was navigating the canyon roads of Beverly Glen, when strong and sudden contractions convinced mother that a quick change of plans was in order.

The somewhat remote residential neighborhood that dad was driving through however, seemed to offer little in the way of services, until mom pointed her husband to the first visible detour: the driveway of Los Angeles Fire Station #99.

With "all hands" quickly summoned to the driveway of the mountaintop fire station, the eight member LAFD crew - which had just completed refresher training in emergency childbirth, swung into action.

Three Firefighters certified as Emergency Medical Technicians and a trio licensed as Paramedics were ably assisted by a pair of medically trained Arson Investigators. Within moments and working as a team, they aided the mother in delivering a healthy baby girl into the world.

Mother and daughter are reported to be doing fine at the UCLA Medical Center, but it's hard to know who is more proud - the Father... or his newborn daughter's eight new Uncles.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Responds To 'Guiberson' Wildfire Near Fillmore

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 |

Pursuant of a formal Mutual Aid Request, the Los Angeles Fire Department has assigned one Strike Team of firefighters and one contract Helitanker to assist the Ventura County Fire Department and allied agencies in their battle against a brush fire near Fillmore, California, 20 miles northwest of our City.


View Larger Map of Area (You can also pan, click & zoom the map above!)

These 24 personnel from the Los Angeles Fire Department have been dispatched to the Guiberson 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 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 by the Ventura County Fire Department, which maintains daily jurisdictional authority of the area where the fire is burning.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

In Los Angeles, Where Do All The Sick People Go?

Sunday, September 20, 2009 |

Many people are surprised to learn that on average, 551 people are transported each day to hospitals in Los Angeles Fire Department ambulances.

And since you might also have wondered; the average transport time to a hospital via LAFD ambulance is a mere 8 minutes and 16 seconds. Please remember: not all patients are destined for the closest facility nor does every transport require the use of emergency lights and siren.

So where do all the patients go?

For April, May and June 2009, here are the Top 20 Hospital destinations for LAFD Ambulances...

1. California Hospital Medical Center - 51 transports per day
2. LAC / USC Medical Center - 38 transports per day
3. Centinela Hospital Medical Center - 30 transports per day
4. Good Samaritan Hospital - 30 transports per day
5. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center - 23 transports per day
6. Northridge Hospital Medical Center - 22 transports per day
7. Queen of Angels / Hollywood Presbyterian - 21 transports per day
8. Valley Presbyterian Hospital - 17 transports per day
9. Kaiser West Los Angeles - 17 transports per day
10. Olympia Medical Center - 17 transports per day
11. Providence Holy Cross - 16 transports per day
12. Providence St. Joseph - 16 transports per day
13. West Hills Medical Center - 16 transports per day
14. Sherman Oaks Community - 15 transports per day
15. Harbor/UCLA Medical Center - 15 transports per day
16. Kaiser Panorama City - 14 transports per day
17. Providence Tarzana - 13 transports per day
18. Marina del Rey Hospital - 12 transports per day
19. Kaiser Woodland Hills - 11 transports per day
20. Brotman Medical Center - 11 transports per day

As you can see, members of the LAFD not only need to know the exact locations of the 106 Neighborhood Fire Stations across our 470 square-mile jurisdiction, but also the quickest routes - day and night - to dozens of hospitals in the Greater Los Angeles area.

You can help them in their quest by yielding promptly and safely for Fire Department vehicles traveling with their emergency lights and siren activated.

Better yet, you and your family can strive to be safe and healthy in your everyday life, limiting your likelihood of needing the world-class pre-hospital care provided by Los Angeles Firefighters.

And finally... we'd like to remind you that there is no need to be ill or injured to explore the inside of an LAFD ambulance. Simply stop by your Neighborhood Fire Station for a visit!


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Quickly Tackles Hillside Home Inferno

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On Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 9:40 AM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 56 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, assisted by 1 Company of Los Angeles County Firefighters, all under the direction of LAFD Battalion Chief John Drake, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 8217 Gould Avenue in the Hollywood Hills.

Traversing the steep and narrow roads of the Kirkwood Bowl neighborhood near Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy smoke showing from a 3 story hillside home situated near volatile vegetation.


View Larger Map (you can also grab, rotate & zoom the pre-fire image above!)

Mindful of a four-hour conflagration that occurred in the neighborhood nearly 30 years earlier to the day, LAFD Helicopters were summoned for command support and reconnaissance, as firefighters aggressively attacked fire on all levels of the 4,343 square-foot home.

Aided by residential fire sprinklers that held swift-moving flames in check on all three floors, firefighters were able to confine and extinguish the fire within the home in just 28 minutes.

An adult male suffering from smoke inhalation as well as burn injuries to his arm and foot was found outside the home. Following on-scene treatment by LAFD Paramedics, he was detained by Police and transported by ambulance in fair condition to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Another adult male who escaped the flames with minor bruises and lacerations, declined medical transportation and remained at the scene.

No other injuries were reported.

The latest estimate of fire loss is $1,000,000 ($500,000 structure & $500,000 contents).

Los Angeles Fire Department Investigators have formally determined the mid-morning blaze to be "incendiary", describing the fire as "deliberately set" and under active investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Aggressive Attack Saved Nearby Businesses

Friday, September 18, 2009 |

On Friday, September 18, 2009 at 3:06 PM, 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Trevor Richmond responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 6814 South Crenshaw Boulevard in the community of Hyde Park.

Engine 95 quickly arrived to find a one story commercial building well involved with fire. The business was an auto repair shop and the bulk of the smoke and fire was 150' from the street in the rear of the building. An immediate and well synchronized offensive attack was made by firefighters inside the building and on the roof.

Additional businesses in close proximity were threatened by the fire, but due to a very aggressive attack of all firefighters on scene and good communication skills of the Incident Commander, the fire was confined to only one business. Ninety five firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in just 21 minutes. A 62 year old male was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries.

The cause was attributed to a leaking fuel pump that caught fire in one automobile that was in the rear of the structure. The dollar loss was $175,000 total ($100,000 for the structure and $75,000 for the contents).

Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

Civilian and Three Dogs Found Deceased Inside Single Family Dwelling

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On Friday, September 18, 2009 at 2:35 AM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief John Duca responded to a structure fire with civilian fatality at 18424 West Saticoy Street in the community of Reseda.

Firefighters quickly responded to the address and initially reported a three-story apartment building, which later became the exposure to a small single family dwelling located to the rear. Firefighters extended hose lines and made access to the roof via ground ladders, completing a well-coordinated attack on the flames.

The fire was subsequently knocked down in just 13 minutes, and contained predominantly to one room. Unfortunately, a 16 year old male and his three beloved dogs were found deceased within the structure. No smoke alarms were noted in the structure. The Mayor's Crisis Response Team along with LAFD Arson units was dispatched. The dollar loss totaled $145,000 ($125,000 for the structure and $20,000 for the contents). The cause remains under investigation.


Submitted by Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department

Multiple Fires in South Los Angeles

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On Friday, September 18, 2009 at 3:01 AM, 12 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, under the direction of Battalion Chief Antoine McKnight responded to a Structure Fire at 247 East 61st Street in South Los Angeles.

Firefighters arriving at the scene were met with multiple fires at two locations, the first one was located at 228 East 60th Street and reported to be a garage fire fully involved. It was knocked down in just 24 minutes. A second fire began nearby at 3:01 am in a 100' x 100' commercial building on 61st Street.

The LAFD Operations Control Dispatch Center (OCD) promptly sent out an additional assignment to battle the quickly growing fire. The arriving companies were joined by those being released from the garage fire nearby, in an effort to assist with the heavy smoke and flame now extending from the commercial structure.

Firefighters coordinated their efforts, as several teams went to the roof to ventilate making it tenable for firefighters extending their lines inside. The complex fire was knocked down in just over one hour. Fortunately, there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. Dollar loss is being tabulated and the cause is being determined by Arson investigators on scene.

Submitted by Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department

Large Blaze Erupts Near Convention Center

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On Friday, September 18, 2009 at 0:27 AM, 11 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Greg Gibson responded to a Structure Fire at 1320 South Main Street in the area of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy smoke and fire showing through the roof from an unoccupied, 50’ x 100’, three-story commercial building. Swiftly extending handlines, firefighters did fierce battle with the blaze. Due to the heavy fire load and partial structural collapse of the roof, fire crews were forced to go into a defensive mode. Firefighters attacked the fire with heavy streams from ladderpipes, as well as handlines from the street.
Firefighters worked diligently to prevent the spread of fire to any of the surrounding structures. Thanks to the exhausting efforts of the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department the blaze was contained in just one hour and 30 minutes. Extensive overhauling of the site was initiated, with several companies remaining on scene to extinguish the persistent hot spots. The cause of this fire remains under investigation and the monetary loss is still being tabulated.

Submitted by Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department

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

Greater Alarm Fire in Watts Injures a Civilian

Monday, September 14, 2009 |

On Monday, September 14, 2009 at 8:20 AM, 12 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, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Trevor Richmond responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1812 East Century Boulevard in the community of Watts.

EMS 13 arrived first to find two automobiles fully engulfed in flames and threatening a duplex. Additional firefighters were close behind and quickly deployed hand-lines to knockdown the fire, minimizing the exposure to nearby structures. Truck Companies raised ladders to the roof and began aggressive vertical ventilation. Firefighters faced additional hazards from live power lines that were down and were assisted by DWP.

Ninety-five firefighters obtained a knockdown in 31 minutes. One civilian adult female received non life-threatening burns and was transported to a local hospital. Dollar loss was estimated at $225,000 ($150,000 for the structure and $75,000 for the contents). The cause of the fire was a water heater that ignited the fumes of two partially filled 55 gallon drums of gasoline. The flames then spread to the automobiles and structures. American Red Cross was notified and offered temporary housing for the displaced occupants

Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

Greater Alarm Fire in Echo Park

Thursday, September 10, 2009 |

On Thursday, September 10, 2009 a 2:26 AM, 11 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, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, along with LAPD and DOT under the direction of Battalion Chief Raymundo Gomez responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1411 North Echo Park Avenue in the community of Echo Park.

Firefighters arrived to find a 1 story, L-shaped Mini Mall, approximately 100 foot x 75 foot, with 2 units showing heavy smoke and fire. Engine Companies on scene made an aggressive interior attack with hand lines while Truck Companies provided ladders to the roof and started vertical ventilation. The roof construction was made of lightweight wooden I beam. Truck companies were able to stand over a breeze-way that presented a stable surface to remain on while cutting a heat hole over the fire.

Due to the aggressive attack of all firefighters on scene, the damage was primarily confined to one unit and no injuries were reported. It took 88 firefighters only 35 minutes to knockdown on the blaze. The dollar loss is $350,000 ($200,000 for property and $150,000 for contents). The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Submitted by Firefighter Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

Water Main Causes an Engine to Sink Into Large Hole

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 |

On Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 5:20 AM, 3 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Dozer Team, 2 Dozer Tenders, 1 Loader Team, 1 Transport Team, along with the aid of LAPD, DOT, Gas Co, and Sanitation under the direction of Assistant Chief Mark Stormes responded to a flooding, involving one LAFD engine at 12200 W. Hartsook St. in North Hollywood. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...

Firefighters were in route to an unknown flood problem in the vicinity of West Hartsook St. in the Valley Village Community of North Hollywood. As the Crew arrived during the early morning hour, they encountered large amounts of water on the roadway.

With no asphalt visible, the Captain on the engine made a judgment call to begin backing out of the area. As they initiated backing procedures, two firefighters stepped out of the engine to stand as lookouts, while two additional firefighters remained aboard the rig. Suddenly, the front of engine began to sink into a large hole created by a water main that broke several yards away. The two firefighters escaped, one through a side window and one was able to ajar a door on the opposite side. The sink hole consumed most of the front of the apparatus, leaving a good portion of the back exposed. © Photo by Rick McClure. Click to view more...An intense recovery operation was initiated consisting of heavy rescue equipment, dozers, a good amount heavy duty Cables as well as personnel. It took firefighters and allied agencies all morning to devise a plan to retrieve the engine from the large sink hole. There where no other vehicles or individuals involved. Happily the firefighters escape this incident without any Injury.

(photos)


Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Water Main Break in Studio City Creates Massive Flooding

Sunday, September 06, 2009 |

On Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 10:38 PM, 22 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Mark Stormes responded to a Flooding at 12930 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.



Firefighters arrived to find thousands of gallons of water rushing east on Ventura Boulevard between Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Whitsett Avenue. Firefighters sprang into action in an attempt to quickly divert the deluge around local businesses residences into the Los Angeles storm drain system, but do to the extraordinary volume of water, it pooled three to four feet in areas.

Over 150 Firefighters worked with profound diligence for many hours, using Dozers sand bags to protect life and property. Though damages include local homes and businesses being flooded, one apartment carport collapse and one victim requiring rescuing from a vehicle, no injuries were reported. An evacuation shelter was implemented at Miliken Middle School, 5041 Sunnyslope Avenue and the American Red Cross was notified.

The source of the water surge was a 95 year old, 62 inch steel pipe that ruptured underneath Coldwater Canyon Avenue, one-half block south of Ventura Boulevard, which served as a large artery feeding water to the Northern Metro Los Angeles Area. The Department of Water and Power fully secured the deluge before dawn, although Ventura Boulevard between Whitsett & Fulton is expected to be shut down until noon and Coldwater Canyon Avenue, south of Ventura Boulevard is not anticipated to open for two-three days.

(LADWP News Release) (photos) (video)

Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

Man Found Dead in Burning Harbor Gateway Home

Friday, September 04, 2009 |

On Friday, September 4, 2009 at 4:48 AM, 3 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief John Buck responded to a Civilian Fatality Fire at 15925 South Orchard Avenue in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to a 1 story single family dwelling with one room well involved. The fire was reported by neighbors who were awakened by loud noises just before the blaze broke out.

Firefighters immediately made entry into the home, where extreme pack-rat conditions made it very difficult to find the source of the flames. Interior fire attack teams also encountered large holes in the floor of the home in several locations, adding further difficulties during their operations.

The fire moved rapidly throughout the structure, as crews worked diligently to put this blaze out, LAFD personnel soon discovered the lifeless remains of one person inside one of the rooms of the home.

A positive identification of the deceased person including their age, gender as well as the cause, time and manner of death will be determined by the Coroner's Office.

No other injuries were reported.

Monetary loss of the blaze is still being tabulated. The cause of this early morning fire remains under an active investigation.


Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department