On Friday, January 29, 2010 at 11:51 PM, 4 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 4 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 33 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Gary Clark, responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian Injury at 6548 Fulcher Avenue in North Hollywood.
Sent to investigate a vague report of smoke, a perseverant LAFD Engine Company scoured a neighborhood more than a quarter mile from the reporting location, to find well-entrenched fire within a one-story single family home. The four member LAFD crew summoned additional resources and immediately began attacking the blaze.
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Forcing the front door of the smoke charged residence open with effort, firefighters discovered a motionless adult male behind the door, and swiftly moved him to fresh air. Finding no pulse on the breathless man, firefighters immediately provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation before transferring his care to an arriving LAFD Paramedic team.
During ambulance transport, a pair of veteran LAFD Paramedics were able to restore a pulse to the man, who remained in very critical condition with ventilatory assistance needed upon arrival at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.
It took firefighters just ten minutes to extinguish the blaze, but not before it caused $150,000 ($75,000 structure & $75,000 contents) loss to the 1,592 square foot residence.
Though the conventional front door of the home was unlawfully equipped with a double-cylinder (key on both sides) deadbolt lock, the status of the hardware did not appear to limit the man's egress according to Investigators. There were no security doors, window bars or obvious non-fire factors to impede the man from exiting the home.
The presence and functional status of legally required smoke alarms could not be immediately determined. The 55 year-old home was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.
The cause the blaze remains under active investigation.
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department