On Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 0:30 AM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Jeffery S. Mottram responded to a Structure Fire at 6550 N Van Nuys Bl. in Van Nuys.
Firefighters arrived with swiftness to a 100' x150' foot commercial strip mall, fully involved with heavy smoke and fire showing. Personnel were immediately met with flames coming from every angle, as they initiated an assault. Fire attack teams quickly deployed hand lines in an effort to stop the spread of fire thru common walls and attics. Roof teams aggressively cut holes on the top of the structure to release super heated gases from below.
The fire began to grow fierce and a decision was by Chief Mottram to pull all teams out of the structure and commence a defensive attack. As the incident grew the building became more and more unstable. Additional hand lines were set in place to facilitate protection of the adjacent structures, as well as heavy hose lines at the front door to hit the bulk of the fire.
Although, the blaze ripped through the structure and consumed a majority the building’s contents, firefighters performing vertical ventilation as well as an aggressive ground attack, confined the fire to its surrounding origin.
It took 106 firefighters well over two hours to call for a complete knock down, there were no injuries reported. Fire loss to the non-occupied structure is estimated at $1,500,000 ($1,000,000 structure & $500,000 content). The cause of the blaze has not been categorized yet.
Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department