A Fierce Blaze Devours Commercial Strip Mall

Thursday, April 22, 2010 |

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

Fire Claims The Life of Two Souls

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On Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 10:18 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 5 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Dennis Waters responded to a Structure Fire With Civilian Fatality at 10609 N Halbrent Ave in City of San Fernando.
Firefighters arrived quickly to discover fire showing from the rear of a one-story single family home. As fire personnel made forcible entry, they encountered heavy smoke and flames before extinguishing the blaze in less than 10 minutes.

During their attack, firefighters discovered an 82 year-old male and 79 year-old female, down in separate locations in the home. Both occupants were rescued out of the smoke filled structure without any visible signs of life. The victims were immediately treated and transported in critical condition to Holy Cross hospital, sadly both patients were beyond help and were pronounced dead shortly after arriving.

The home was not equipped with legally required smoke alarms, nor a carbon monoxide detector or residential fire sprinklers. There were no security doors, window bars or obvious non-fire factors to impede the victims from exiting the home.

The blaze was extinguished by 41 Firefighters in less than 10 minutes and the cause is under investigation by LAFD Arson Investigators and the Los Angeles Police Department. Monetary loss from the fire is estimated at $150,000 ($100,000 structure & $50,000 contents).

Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

What is Cal EMA You Ask?

Saturday, April 17, 2010 |

Click to learn more about Cal EMA...
During recent emergencies and disaster preparedness campaigns, many California residents were heard to ask "What is Cal EMA?"

Cal EMA (pronounced 'Kal-Eee-Emm-Ayy'), the California Emergency Management Agency, was created under Assembly Bill 38 – joining the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the Department of Homeland Security to form a single agency committed to providing California with the highest level of emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and hazard mitigation.

Cal EMA is an important agency with a statewide mission. We encourage you to learn more about Cal EMA leadership and vision through this video...



For more information about Cal EMA, visit:



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Early Evening Blaze Injures Three

Monday, April 12, 2010 |

On Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 8:08 PM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson 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 Rudy Hill responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 532 North Cummings Street in the Boyle Heights area.

Within three minutes the Los Angeles Fire Department arrived on scene to find a 50’X100’ two-story four-plex with smoke and fire showing from the first floor, then swiftly summoned additional help. Firefighters forced entry through security gates to enable hand-lines to be extended while simultaneously performing vertical ventilation to battle the well-entrenched blaze.


The flames ran through the center hallway and burned three separate units on the first floor and lapped up to the second story. 75 Firefighters extinguished the early evening, stubborn blaze in 37 minutes.

Smoke Alarms were present in the 4,896 square-foot building, but their functional status and role in alerting occupants could not be immediately determined. There were no window security bars or obvious non-fire factors to impede egress from this 83 year old building.

Unfortunately this very hot blaze injured three people. One adult male Firefighter and an adult female civilian suffered burns and were transported to local hospitals in minor condition, and an adult male civilian suffered burns to the face and respiratory tract and was taken to a hospital in critical condition. An additional 10 adults and 10 children were displaced but were housed at Fire Station 2 where Firefighters and Council Member Jose Huizar comforted the families and provided hot cocoa and ice cream to the children while they awaited relief from the American Red Cross.

Monetary loss from the fire is estimated at $195,000 ($145,000 structure & $50,000 contents). The cause is undetermined.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department