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Man Dies As Flames Engulf a Converted Garage In Silver Lake

Thursday, December 31, 2009 |

On Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 9:36 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 39 Los Angeles Fire Department Personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Fred J. Mathis responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 1023 N. Rampart Bl. in Silver Lake.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke and fire coming from what originally seemed to be a single family dwelling. Once a closer survey of the scene was initiated, they found a detached garage at the rear of the home fully involved with flames.

Fire Crews were immediately met with the threat of exposures from heat to the near by home, as well as civilians who reported that one person may still be trapped inside. Interior fire attack teams made forced entry into what appeared to be a small converted garage. As they aggressively attacked the flames they subsequently discovered the body of a 30 year-old male inside that was beyond any medical aid. No other occupants in the home were injured.

The cause, time ,and how this individual died will be determined by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. The official cause of the blaze will remain part of an active Fire Department investigation.

Although loss of life can never be measured, the monetary loss is yet to be determined.


Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Improper Home Heating an Issue in South Los Angeles Death

Monday, December 28, 2009 |

On Monday, December 28, 2009 at 4:47 AM, 4 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 4 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 33 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Antoine McKnight, responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 1112 West 76th Street in South Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to discover light smoke showing from a one-story 1,309 square-foot single family home.


Firefighters forced entry through the home's security doors and subsequently a locked bedroom to aggressively attack flames. The fire was confined to the bedroom area and extinguished in less than 12 minutes.

During their search of the fire room, firefighters discovered the body of a 49 year-old woman on the floor. Beyond medical help, she was declared deceased at the scene.

A positive identification of the dead woman as well as the precise cause, time and manner of her death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

No other injuries were reported.

There were no window security bars or obvious non-fire factors to impede the woman's egress. The 87-year old home was not equipped with legally required smoke alarms, nor a carbon monoxide detector or residential fire sprinklers.

Monetary loss to the wood frame and stucco residence was limited to $15,000 ($10,000 structure & $5,000 contents).

Though the official cause of this pre-dawn fire remains the focus of an active Fire Department investigation, LAFD Investigators surmise that an improper heating device - possibly using charcoal briquettes, may have not only sparked the blaze, but also introduced deadly carbon monoxide fumes within the residence.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Firefighters Rescue Trio From North Hollywood Blaze

Saturday, December 26, 2009 |

On Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 10:14 AM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 69 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Jose S-Cronenbold, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 12011 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover light smoke showing from one mid-block 2 story building in a row of commercial businesses.

© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...
While firefighters attacked stubborn flames on the first floor, their colleagues swiftly rescued a pair of trapped second floor occupants at the rear of the building via ladder, as additional firefighters guided a third person from the structure.

The fire was skilfully confined within one office containing dense storage of combustible items, and extinguished in just 25 minutes.

Following their initial medical assessment at the scene, the rescued trio -- a woman and two men, declined treatment or transportation. No other injuries were reported.

Loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of this mid-morning blaze was categorized as accidental.

(photos)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Save Scores of Dogs When Hollywood Kennel Erupts in Flames

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On Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 1:08 AM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Ralph Ramirez, responded to a Structure Fire at 1014 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood.

© Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...
Firefighters arrived in less than four minutes to find heavy smoke billowing from a 2,500 square-foot, one-story commercial building doing business as LA Dogworks, a self-described "retreat for dogs".

Firefighters rapidly deployed handlines through the dark, smoke filled building, navigating their way to a rear mezzanine where the bulk of flames were located.

The intense fire burned through the roof, but firefighters were able performed strategic vertical ventilation on the arched truss roof to release heat and gasses. These actions, combined with the building's elaborate HVAC system, provided clean air for canines to breathe.

The fire was extinguished in just 32 minutes.

All dogs were promptly accounted for and relocated by staff with assistance from the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, which responded to the scene. Though no dog injuries were observed by or reported to firefighters, the facility owner later in the day told reporters that one dog had died.

No human injuries were reported.

Monetary loss from the blaze is still being tabulated, while the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

(photos) (video) (video) (video)


Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

You Got a Radio Scanner... Now What?

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How Do I Program This Thing?
Scanning monitor radios, often referred to as "Police Scanners" or "Scanner Radios" were popular gifts this holiday season.

Received with warmth and a sense of awe on Christmas morning, many have sat quietly since, awaiting the often intimidating process of being programmed.

While manufacturers try to simplify instruction manuals, the greatest challenge seems to be obtaining radio frequency information for local agencies or events of interest.

As you might imagine, Neighborhood Firefighters are being approached by enthusiasts eager to hear their Fire Department in action.

In Los Angeles, residents need not traipse to a Neighborhood Fire Station for information. The Los Angeles Fire Department is pleased to provide comprehensive voice radio frequency information on-line at:

www.lafd.org/freq.htm


Though our friend Gene Hughes retired from publishing the popular Southern California Police Call radio frequency guide before his untimely passing, there remain several on-line resources to explore scanner radio use in our region:
Monitoring radio frequencies however, will only tell you part of the story. That's why we warmly welcome you (with or without your scanner in hand), to visit a Neighborhood Fire Station, and meet the men and women behind those voices on the radio.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Pickup Struck By Train Following Two Vehicle Collision

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 |

On Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 7:01 AM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 17 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Helicopter, 3 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 Assistant Chief Greg West, responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision involving a Train near 9800 North San Fernando Road in Pacoima.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to find a two vehicle collision in which one vehicle was subsequently struck by an approaching train.

According to witnesses, a sedan had yielded to a passing emergency vehicle on San Fernando Road north of Branford Street before being struck by a pick-up truck, propelling both vehicles onto the adjacent railroad right-of-way.


The heavily damaged sedan with three occupants remained distant from the tracks, while the truck occupied solely by a driver landed on or near the rails - where within seconds it was struck and destroyed by a northbound commuter train.

Though no one was trapped, the man and woman in the sedan sustained moderate injuries, while the nearly 2 year-old boy riding with them, as well the truck driver, were listed in critical condition.

As their colleagues treated and transported the injured motor vehicle occupants, teams of Los Angeles Firefighters boarded the involved Metrolink Train #201, which had stopped nearby.

Though there were no obvious injuries to the 39 passengers or 3 crew members aboard the Lancaster bound train, 2 passengers who stated a desire for further medical evaluation were taken by LAFD Ambulance to area hospitals in good condition.

The four motor vehicle occupants were taken by LAFD Ambulance to the Trauma Center at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, where within the hour, an LAFD Helicopter was summoned to transfer the then-stabilized child to Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles.

No other injuries were reported.

This incident remains under investigation by both Los Angeles Police Department and Southern California Regional Rail Authority officials.

(Photos) (Video) (Video) (Video)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Two Bodies Found Inside Burning Motorhome

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On Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 2:28 AM, 3 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 1 Heavy Rescue, 4 Arson Units, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Daren Palacios responded to a Vehicle Fire with Civilian Fatalities at 3333 North San Fernando Road in the Atwater Village area.

Firefighters arrived within five minutes to find several persons waving them down, in an attempt to direct them to a large parking lot in the rear of a commercial building, near a newspaper distribution center. A Dodge Sportsman Class-C Motorhome, tan in color, was found parked and was well involved in flames.


Firefighters used hand-lines to quickly extinguish the fire and were able to confine the blaze to the one vehicle. No other automobiles or structures were damaged.

During the initial attack, firefighters discovered the remains of an adult (gender undetermined) in the over-head sleeper area. Then during a detailed search firefighters uncovered a second body (adult male) under debris in the same vehicle. Both adults were declared deceased at the scene.

LAFD Heavy Rescue was utilized after the flames were extinguished, to move the motor-home away from a fence, providing better access for firefighters to work.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office will seek to positively identify the deceased, as well as to formally determine the cause, manner and time of their death.

The incident is categorized as a joint active investigation by Fire and Police Department officials.

No other injuries were reported. Monetary loss totaled $3,000.

(Video) (Video)

Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

Reporter's Emergency Underscores The 3 W's of Fire Survival

Friday, December 18, 2009 |

Though the blaze occurred in the City of West Hollywood served by our friends at the Los Angeles County Fire Department - and not the LAFD, we're pleased to share word of an incident underscoring the need for Fire Prevention and Preparedness, as well as The 3 W's ™ that can save your life:

Fox 11's Jane Yamamoto reports...


The LAFD Reminds You: To survive a fire in your home, you need a Warning, a Weapon - and a Way Out! ™
  • The "Warning" comes from your properly functioning Smoke Alarms, and then your manual activation of an apartment or hotel fire alarm system if applicable.
  • The "Weapon" we speak of is the presence of a properly maintained Fire Extinguisher that you know how to use safely and effectively.
  • The "Way Out" is a well planned and practiced Escape Plan that includes alternate exits, a common meeting place and a pledge that all family members will Get Out and Stay Out!
We join our colleagues at the Los Angeles County Fire Department in saluting Fox 11 Reporter Bob Decastro for his selfless actions in assisting a neighbor in need.

When a fire occurs in your home, will The 3 W's ™ be ready to save you and your loved ones? For more information on surviving fire, visit:

firesafety.gov


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Scorches Vacant Encino Hills Home

Monday, December 14, 2009 |

On Monday, December 14, 2009 at 5:51 AM, 9 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 LAFD Emergency Air Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 67 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Greg West, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 16662 Diamante Drive in the Encino Hills.

Summoned by a private security patrol officer who noted the blaze, firefighters arrived quickly to find very heavy fire throughout the first floor of a vacant two-story single family home.



Forcing entry into the 3,446 square-foot residence, firefighters attacked the wall of fire with handlines as their colleagues ascended the multi-level clay tile roof to perform strategic vertical ventilation of heat, smoke and flame.

Tackling flames on the first floor and pursuing those on the second, interior firefighters soon discovered the home's staircase destroyed by the inferno, forcing them to extend hoselines up a series of outside ladders to gain entry through multiple upper floor windows.

Though fire had moved swiftly to take hold of the attic and portions of the second floor, firefighters were able to extinguish the flames in just 45 minutes.

There were no injuries.

Fire loss to the 36 year-old non-fire sprinklered home is estimated at $202,000 ($200,000 structure & $2,000 contents).

The cause of this early morning blaze remains under active investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Battle To Save Pets in Animal Hospital

Sunday, December 13, 2009 |

On Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 1:05 AM, 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 84 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Ronald Jackson, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 6402 Platt Avenue in West Hills.

Fire at West Hills Animal Hospital. © Photo by Ryan Babroff. Click to view more...Firefighters responding to an alarm company notification of a smoke detector activation, arrived quickly during an intense rainstorm to find fire showing from a 50' x 100' one-story veterinary office.

Swiftly forcing entry into West Hills Animal Hospital, which was secured and appeared closed for business, Los Angeles Firefighters commenced a well-coordinated search of the premises in accordance with LAFD protocol that assumes a building occupied until proven otherwise.

Though there were no human occupants, firefighters soon rescued two cats and two dogs from the smoke-charged structure. Despite the efforts of medically-trained firefighters, only one canine survived.

Cradling the surviving puppy in his arms, a firefighter was soon met by a hospital staff member summoned to the scene. Assisting the LAFD in providing oxygen to the conscious and breathing pet, the veterinarian later took the animal to a nearby pet emergency clinic.

While their colleagues skilfully protected medical records and equipment below, firefighters held the flames within the attic and circumferential mansard of the former fast food establishment, extinguishing the fire in just 30 minutes.

No human injuries were reported.

Monetary loss to the facility has been estimated at $160,000 ($100,000 structure & $60,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze is categorized as electrical, and attributed to stormwater impact on an illuminated sign attached to the front of the building.

(photos) (photos)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Canoga Park Apartment Explosion Leaves Dozens Displaced

Saturday, December 12, 2009 |

On Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 4:51 PM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 59 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Ronald Jackson, responded to an Explosion at 6530 Independence Avenue in Canoga Park.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly and were directed the northeast corner of a 205-unit three story complex of apartments over perimeter parking, to discover severe blast damage within and near a first floor utility room.

First arriving firefighters rapidly coordinated evacuation and crowd control for the dozens of occupants who had fled the damaged building, as additional LAFD crews - including those specially trained in Urban Search and Rescue, methodically examined the 145,000 square-foot complex.

Small but steady flame visible through a crack in the cement floor of the utility room subsided when natural gas service to the building was turned off.

Despite blast damage that extended to the third floor of the 25 year-old wood frame/stucco building, there were no injuries.

As a result of the explosion and a need to secure utilities, 47 apartments were deemed untenable. Assisting 50 residents in their need for temporary housing were staff from the City's Housing Department and volunteers from the American Red Cross.

Structural loss to Americana Independence Apartments, as well as collateral automotive and content loss is still being tabulated.

An Investigation Team from the LAFD's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section concurred with Chief Jackson's determination that a "flammable vapor explosion" occurred within or near the utility room.

Representatives from the Los Angeles Departments of Building & Safety and Water & Power were joined by the Southern California Gas Company in a joint investigation to determine the source of the flammable gas.

(photos) (photos)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

L.A. Man Gravely Burned When Clothes Catch Fire

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On Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 1:51 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 4 Arson Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 39 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, responded to a Critical Burn Injury at 2106 North Lincoln Park Avenue in the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters responding to a reported Structure Fire arrived quickly to find the small fire out, but a critically burned man at the front door of a small rear-yard structure converted to living space.


View Larger Pre-Fire Image (you can also click, grab zoom the image above)

The 71 year-old male, who sustained 3rd degree circumferential burns to the upper half of his body, was skilfully treated by LAFD personnel before being transported in grave condition by LAFD Paramedic Ambulance to the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center.

An Investigation Team from the Los Angeles Fire Department's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section carefully examined the scene and spoke with witnesses. LAFD Investigators surmise the man's clothing ignited while attempting to quench a small fire within the living unit, and are categorizing his life-threatening injuries as accidental in nature.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Midnight Fire Burns Through Auto Body Shop

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 |

On Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 0:47 AM, 15 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 2 Hazardous Materials Teams, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 2 Division Chief Officer Command Teams, under the direction of Assistant Chief Robert Franco responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 5029 W Jefferson Bl in Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw area.

Shortly after midnight Los Angeles Firefighters quickly arrived to find a one-story L-shaped commercial Auto Body Shop building well involved with fire. Fire Entry Teams had to make forcible entry on two sides of the before attempting to locate the origin of the flames. Firefighters laddered the roof of a 75’x200’ section of the building and commenced strategic vertical ventilation.


A division wall separated the unoccupied building into two sections. LAFD personnel aggressively attacked the flames, using Large hand lines and class A foam to confine the fire before it spread to any adjacent buildings. Additional resources were rapidly requested, in the event the blaze would spread.

One portion of the structure was 30’X70’ and had 25’ flames shooting through the roof and the other section was 75’x200’,with less fire involvement. Two spray-booths and several expensive automobiles inside the structure were damaged.

It is unknown if the structure had sprinklers or fire alarms. 119 firefighters were able to extinguish this blaze in just 46 minutes. No injuries were reported.

Thanks to the diligent firefighting and salvage efforts of the Los Angeles Firefighters the dollar loss was limited to $250,000 ($100,000 structure & $150,000 contents). The cause is under investigation.


Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department

Man Found Dead in Burning Eagle Rock Home

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 |

On Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 6:23 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 5 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Wade White, responded to a Structure Fire at 4838 North Maywood Avenue in Eagle Rock.

While in route to a structure fire, firefighters heard the dreadful radio transmission, “Possible victim trapped” and quickly ordered additional companies. They arrived to a one-story, wood-sided single family dwelling engulfed in flames.


Man Dies in Eagle Rock House Fire. Licensed Image: LAFD Photo by Harry Garvin. Click to learn more...Neighbors frantically tried to help with garden hoses while declaring that someone was inside, thus confirming the previous radio transmission. Firefighters sprinted into action, making an attack with hose-lines while simultaneously cutting holes in the roof for ventilation. An immediate search and rescue operation commenced in this 1200 square-foot non-sprinklered home. Firefighters were disheartened to find the lifeless body of a 77 year-old male in his bathroom.

During their relentless assault on the flames, 41 firefighters extinguished the blaze in just 20 minutes and prevented it from damaging nearby residences.

No evidence of any hard wired or battery powered smoke alarms were found in the residence. There were no window security bars or other obvious non-fire factors to impede escape.

Monetary loss from the fire was $150,000 ($100,000 structure and $50,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze is not yet determined.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Rescue Dogs, Limit Loss in Northridge Blaze

Saturday, December 05, 2009 |

On Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 11:15 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 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 38 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Jeffrey Marcus, responded to a Structure Fire at 10012 Wilbur Avenue in Northridge.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find the attached garage of a one-story single family home well involved, with flames extending through a doorway to the attic.

Though the family of six had safely evacuated their residence - and properly remained outside the home prior to the arrival of firefighters, their two pet canines were trapped inside.

With information provided by the family, firefighters were able to promptly and efficiently rescue the dogs without injury.

Swift and decisive action by first arriving fire crews also prevented flames from spreading within the 2,820 square-foot home, limiting the bulk of fire damage to the garage, roof and attic of the recently remodeled home.

The fire was extinguished in just 25 minutes and no injuries were reported.

The aggressive and well-coordinated attack on the flames, combined with exhaustive salvage efforts and protection of personal property, allowed Los Angeles Firefighters to limit damage to $225,000 ($150,000 structure & $75,000 contents).

The displaced family stated a desire to seek their own accommodations.

The cause of this late morning blaze remains under investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Pair Suffers Critical Burns in Venice Trailer Fire

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On Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 4:55 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 4 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 36 Los Angeles Firefighters under the direction of Battalion Chief Edward Bushman, responded to a Trailer Fire With Civilian Injuries at 4133 South Redwood Avenue in the Venice area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a 6' x 10' windowless trailer burning in the side yard of a single family home.

 
According to witnesses, a man and woman in their mid-30's had been sleeping within the compact trailer when it erupted in flames.

Reportedly assisted from the fire by a male homeowner who came to their aid with a garden hose, the trailer occupants were free from the flaming vehicle but severely burned on firefighters arrival.

As LAFD personnel treated the critically injured pair - and assessed the needs of the uninjured homeowner, other firefighters quickly extinguished the trailer before flames could extend to the nearby one-story dwelling.

The burned man and woman - whose affiliation was not immediately known, suffered 3rd degree burns to their faces, arms and legs. In critical condition, they were transported by LAFD ambulance to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.

No other injuries were reported.

Though propane in or near the trailer is believed to have fueled the explosive flames, the specific cause of the fire remains under active investigation.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

25 Years Ago Today: Arson Blaze Takes the Life of Firefighter Ben Pinel

Friday, December 04, 2009 |

The early morning hours of December 4, 1984 were cool, quiet and peaceful for Los Angeles Airport Police Officers Joe Ransfer and Robert Lopez, on routine patrol of LAX and environs.

That was until about 4:50AM, when they were stunned to see flames piercing the roof of the one-story Proud Bird Restaurant not far from the airport's south runways.

As the Officers keyed their radio to request the first of 23 fire companies and eight rescue ambulances that would respond to the blaze, little could they imagine the commitment, bravery and unspeakable loss about to envelop the Los Angeles Fire Department in the coming minutes before dawn.

Before that December sun would rise, one Los Angeles Firefighter would succumb, a colleague would earn a Medal of Valor, four firefighters would be injured and an entire city would join a Fire Department in mourning.

Firefighter Benjamin Pinel never came home to his wife and 6 month old daughter that morning.

The sun has risen more than 9,000 times since - yet never have we forgotten this chapter in our history caused by the scourge of arson. We encourage you to learn more about that morning, 25 years ago today...

Benjamin Pinel's Last Alarm - The Proud Bird Restaurant Fire


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Retired LAFD Captain Jim Perry Dies in Nevada Collision

Thursday, December 03, 2009 |

From the Gardnerville, Nevada Record-Courier...

Captain Jim Perry, LAFD RetiredAward-winning firefighting publication editor James A. Perry, 69, was killed in a head-on accident on Thursday.

Perry was southbound on Highway 395 in a pickup when he collided head on with a Ford Expedition at 7:49 a.m. (Read More... )

Retired Captain Jim Perry was a legendary member of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Among his countless (and we use the term literally) accomplishments was establishment of the LAFD's media relations efforts through our Public Service Officer program.

Jim was a dear personal friend and strict but loving mentor who once sat in the very position our blog staff occupies today.

Words presently escape us in describing our loss - but as Jim would have wanted, we ask today for your thoughts and prayers for Kenneth Ceglia, the other driver, as well as the Perry and Ceglia families.

Memorial Ceremonies for Jim Perry - All are Welcome:

In Minden, Nevada...

Saturday, December 12th
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
C.V.I.C. Hall
1602 Esmeralda Avenue
Minden, NV 89423

In Los Angeles, California...

Saturday, December 19th
10:00 AM
Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center
1700 Stadium Way
Los Angeles, CA 90012


Special rates have been established at hotels near both locations. Your on-line condolence is also welcome.


For additional information, we kindly refer you to the website of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (IAFF Local 112), where Jim was the proud editor of the multiple award-winning Los Angeles Firefighter newspaper at the time of his passing.

Rest in Peace Brother Jim, your work is done. # # #

(obituary)
(memorial service photos)
(memorial service photos)



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department