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Two Lives Lost After Vehicle Smashes into Boyle Heights Home

Sunday, October 31, 2010 |

On Sunday, October 31, 2010 at 11:42 PM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 9 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 2 EMS Battalion Captains and 2 Battalion Chief Officers under the direction of Assistant Chief Craig Fry responded to a Physical Rescue Traffic Collision at 2701 Cincinnati Street in Boyle Heights.

Los Angeles Fire Department resources responded to call where a driver of an SUV crashed into a structure with possible trapped victims. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered 1 vehicle which made its way approximately 6-8 feet into single family dwelling. A physical rescue assignment was quickly requested to extricate the victims.



Firefighters utilizing an assortment of tools, while commencing triage of the injured parties, were face with the task of trying to find all the victims in a crowd of people. Rescue crews soon discovered a fatality, a 19y/o female who was apparently in one of the bedrooms at the time of impact. One two week old infant, who was believed to have also been in the same room of impact, was treated and transported in critical condition to USC Medical Center. Four other were also treated and transported, a 61y/o female, 16y/o female, 12y/o female and a 3y/o male, all suffered minor injuries.

It is with great sadness to report that the two week old infant was later pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the medical center. The driver who was taken by LAPD, was later transported to an area hospital for evaluation.

It is still unclear as to what caused the driver to smash onto the side of a home on a residential street always leaving the question, how could something like this happen. With the prime focus now being on, medical care of the injured and emotional support to the victim’s families, an active investigation of the incident will be conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department.

This is a reminder to us all ,that a night of celebration can quickly turn into a night of loss, in the blink of a eye.

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Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Woman in Grave Condition Following Kitchen Fire

Saturday, October 30, 2010 |

On Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 9:22 PM, 3 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 4 Arson Units and 1 EMS Battalion Captain, a total of 28 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Thomas, responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian Injury at 5207 South Ascot Avenue in South Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy smoke showing from the rear of a small one-story single family home. Forcing entry through the building's front security door, firefighters aggressively tackled flames that had taken hold of the kitchen area of the 800 square foot residence.



In their simultaneous access and search from the rear of the smoke charged structure, firefighters discovered and swiftly rescued a critically injured older woman suffering from severe smoke inhalation. Provided with immediate medical care at the scene, she was transported in grave condition to the Los Angeles County - USC Medical Center.

The bulk of the fire was confined to the kitchen and extinguished in just 15 minutes.

No other injuries were reported.

Though the home was fitted with security doors and the windows had security bars, there were no obvious non-fire factors to impede the woman's egress. While one smoke alarm was discovered in the hallway of the 103-year old wood-frame home, its functional status and role at the time of the fire could not be immediately determined.

The dwelling was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.

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


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

We Remember: The Reason Behind the Ribbon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 |

Ribbons. They're often worn to show our pride, passion and perseverance. While nearly every color of the rainbow has come to symbolize a worthy cause, this week is the 25th anniversary of a project that started it all.

This is Red Ribbon Week.

Millions of people will participate in Red Ribbon events this week, pledging to live and share the virtues of a drug-free life. Even the Empire State Building has been known to get into the act.

Few Americans however, know exactly why people nationwide began displaying this vivid color, or why it is called "The Red Badge of Courage".

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department encourage you to learn about Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena: The Reason Behind The Ribbon.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

61 Years Ago Today: LAFD Fireman Andrew Lechert Dies in Reseda

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 |

Fallen Los Angeles Fireman
Andrew Lechert
1898-1949
Born in Chicago in 1898, Andrew Lechert was the kind of man that many of us might take for granted. Quiet, focused yet fiercely loyal and uncommonly brave, he commenced his life's work at the age of 29 as a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Earning coveted assignments across the City, he took pride in every task, ultimately eschewing the opportunity to advance in rank for the personal reward he found in the role and responsibility of a Los Angeles Fireman.

If nothing else, Fireman Andrew Lechert was a man of honor and tradition, always doing his part to further the LAFD mission.

It was such commitment that caused Lechert to join scores of other firemen on March 23, 1949 in bidding a patriotic farewell to fellow Los Angeles Fireman John Herbert, who had been killed in the line of duty.

As Lechert and other crisply uniformed firemen filed past Herbert's gleaming bronze casket draped with an American flag, little could they imagine that the highly respected veteran standing among them would be similarly laid to rest in 7 months time.

At age 50, Fireman Lechert had trained many a rookie and responded to countless fires and disasters across the burgeoning metropolis of Los Angeles during his 21 years of service. A mentally and physically fit responder, he grew to love the challenge of serving the remote but growing central San Fernando Valley at Fire Station 73 in Reseda.


Far from a sleepy hollow, Reseda saw a significant increase in commercial, industrial and residential development in the years following World War II, as working ranches were subdivided and buildings replaced crops, causing the LAFD to add a ladder Truck Company to Fire Station 73 staffed by Lechert and his colleagues.

If there was a sense of change under foot, there was certainly a sense of permanency in the concerns at Fire Station 73 each Fall, as the drying of vegetation and the return of seasonal Santa Ana winds, necessitated a swift race to battle each and every grass and brush fire before it could blossom into the maelstroms experienced in 1933 and 1938 by Andrew Lechert and his colleagues.

Lunch was often hurried at Fire Station 73, and the noon hour of Andrew's final day would be no different, as the crew responded time and again to the needs of their community.

The last alarm for Fireman Andrew Lechert came at 3:30 PM on October 26, 1949, as Engine 73 was summoned to a grass fire in a vacant lot at 18557 Saticoy Street, just three-tenths of a mile from the station.

With a column of smoke visible as they raced from their quarters, Engine Company 73 found a growing wildland fire they might contain. Working swiftly with his crew to pull 50 feet of once-inch booster line, Lechert suddenly collapsed of an apparent heart attack. Despite resuscitation efforts by LAFD Rescue 39, the sudden fireground malady proved fatal.

At Lechert's burial at Oaklawn Cemetery in Chatsworth on October 29, 1949, a large contingent of firefighters stood at rapt attention as Chaplain Joseph Hoffmann addressed Andrew's loving wife Dorothy.

Standing tall among the sea of uniformed personnel offering their respect was rookie Los Angeles Fireman Clyde Neff, who would himself make the ultimate sacrifice less than 96 hours later.

Learn more about Andrew, Clyde and other LAFD members who have paid the ultimate price in their service to our City by visiting:


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Pedestrian Dies, 20 Students Hospitalized Following Boyle Heights School Bus Collision

Monday, October 25, 2010 |

On Monday, October 25, 2010 at 3:22 PM, 13 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 14 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 Helicopters, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 114 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda, as well as Los Angeles Police and California Highway Patrol Officers, responded to a Multi-Patient Traffic Collision near 2332 East 1st Street in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a multi-vehicle collision in which one vehicle, an occupied full-sized school bus, had overturned.

As additional LAFD personnel were summoned, a swift triage effort was undertaken to assist and medically assess the school bus driver and as many as 50 teenage bus occupants from nearby Roosevelt High School, none of whom were trapped or had life-threatening injury.

One person found nearby however, and later determined to be a pedestrian, had sustained fatal injury and was declared dead at the scene.

A pair of young adult males from a sedan that reportedly struck the bus, were taken into police custody while receiving pre-hospital medical care, as Firefighter/Paramedics concurrently identified 18 students from the bus in need of non-emergency ambulance transport.

The eighteen students with minor injuries, and the school bus driver - in fair condition, were taken to eight regional hospitals that had been proactively alerted by LAFD responders. A pair of Los Angeles Fire Department air ambulance helicopters placed on stand-by at Roosevelt High School, proved not to be needed.

Using a dedicated Metro transit bus, firefighters not directly involved in caring for the injured coordinated swift and orderly transportation of as many as 30 students to the Hollenbeck Community Police Station, where a reunification center was established.

In the reunification center, City of Los Angeles Crisis Response Team volunteers continued the emotional support efforts established by firefighters, as parents and guardians were calmly reunited with the students.

Despite earlier declarations of non-injury, two students at the reunification center complained of acute pain, and were taken with parental concurrence to area hospitals, bringing the total ambulance transported patient count to 23 (1 bus driver, 18 student bus riders from the incident site, 2 young males from the sedan in custody, and later 2 student bus riders from the reunification center).

No other injuries were reported.

A positive identification of deceased pedestrian, as well as the time, cause and manner of their death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

Pursuant of statewide protocol for occupied school buses involved in student injury collisions, the California Highway Patrol will be the lead agency in a detailed incident investigation.

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Three Workers Sickened by Fumes in Port of Los Angeles

Saturday, October 23, 2010 |

On Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 4:15 PM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Fireboats, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 50 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Michael Thomas, responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at Berth 303 on Terminal Island in the Port of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to investigate an odor aboard the recently docked APL Sweden, a 909-foot long cargo ship of Liberian registry.

The seven crew members and other dock workers were swiftly evacuated upwind from the fully loaded vessel, as a safety perimeter and the Joint Command of LAFD, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Police and Homeland Security officials was established.

The odor, first believed to be associated with a gallon or more of liquid discovered near a shipping container, was instead determined by LAFD Hazardous Materials experts to be emanating from a pair of twenty-foot cargo containers nearby.

Nearly two hours into the incident, eight earlier evacuated port workers complaining of respiratory irritation and nausea joined their colleague who had first noted the odor, in being assessed by LAFD Paramedics. Three of these nine men, all described as in good condition, were ultimately taken to area hospitals via LAFD Ambulance for a more thorough medical evaluation.

With the assistance of longshoremen operating a dockside crane, the twin cargo containers loaded with Xylenol were skilfully wrapped in impervious sheeting in a diaper-like fashion, before being loaded onto a trailer under the watchful eye of responders.

Great care was taken by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel to assure that no product leaked into harbor waterways or created an escalating hazard.

The containers were gingerly transported to a remote section of the port, where a privately-contracted hazardous material management firm was to handle the matter to conclusion under the observation of the Health Hazardous Materials Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Downtown Apartment Fire Claims One Life

Thursday, October 14, 2010 |

On Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 9:58 AM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Antoine McKnight responded to a Structure Fire at 622 South Wall Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived within three minutes to a three-story modern apartment building with fire in one unit on the first floor. While attacking the flames, an unconscious 62 year-old male was discovered on the floor of his small Studio Apartment. He sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns to approximately 50% of his body, in addition to a severe respiratory injury. In critical condition, he was treated by LAFD Paramedics, who transported him to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. Sadly, after the patient arrived at the hospital, he died as a result of his injuries.

It took Firefighters just nine minutes to extinguish the blaze, but not before it caused $45,000 ($40,000 structure & $5,000 contents) loss to the approximate 150 square-foot residence. Firefighters determined smoke alarms were present in the home. There were no obvious physical factors impairing egress, and the 29 year-old residence was not equipped with fire sprinklers. The fire was determined to be the result of the occupant smoking while utilizing oxygen therapy via a nasal cannula.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Rips Through Building In Northridge

Sunday, October 10, 2010 |

On Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 10:53 PM, 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, under the direction of Battalion Chief John Miller responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 8835 N. Shirley Ave in Northridge.

The first companies arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke showing from a one story 50' x 100' commercial structure. Firefighters extended handlines and made forcible entry to battle within the commercial building, doing business as a Video Arcade Manufacturer. Interior attack teams had the vigorous task of locating the seat of the fire, while roof teams cut several holes above to release the super heated gas below.

The fire, which was intense, was apparently located on a mezzanine level severing as storage space. Although the flames threatened a structure across a shared foyer, the fire load was confined only to the building of origin. The aggressive and well-coordinated efforts of 88 Los Angeles Firefighters brought the flames under control in just over 37 minutes.

There were no reports of anyone being inside the structure and no injuries to any personnel during this incident. Damage to the non-occupied building is estimated at $350,000 ($250,000 structure & $100,000 contents). The cause of this blaze has is still under an active investigation by Fire Officials

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Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Question: What is an LAFD Staff Assistant?

Sunday, October 03, 2010 |

What is an LAFD Staff Assistant? Become informed on a topical issue by watching this video about Los Angeles Fire Department Command Teams:



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Family of Nine Escapes Early Morning Fire

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On Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 3:04 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Richard Combs responded to a Structure Fire at 804 West 85th Street in South Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived to find a one story apartment complex with heavy smoke coming from one unit. As crews began to mount an attack they discovered one area of the living room well involved with fire. A mother and father as well seven children had just escaped from the structure prior the flames growing in intensity.

Fire personnel placed handlines in operation and made entry to battle within the residence, while roof teams cut holes above, releasing the super heated gases.

Even though the fire caused a significant amount of damage to the residence, firefighters were able to confined the flames to just the area of origin. It took 45 firefighters only 21 minutes to call for a knockdown.

The family of nine were all treated and transported to area hospitals for minor injuries, with the exception of the father who suffered critical burns. Thankfully all escaped the early morning blaze with their lives and are all expected to recover.

The American Red Cross was called into action as this family will be displaced after leaving the hospital.

There were no visible smoke alarms within the building at the time of the incident. The estimated dollar loss is $100,000 ( $50,000 structure and $50,000 contents). The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical in nature and is categorized as accidental.


Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Quick Knock-Down of High-Rise Fire in Fashion District

Friday, October 01, 2010 |

On Friday, October 1, 2010 at 5:46 PM, 11 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Greg Gibson responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 219 West 7th Street in the Fashion District of downtown L.A.

Firefighters responded to an Automatic Alarm at a 12-story High-Rise building and within two minutes it was modified to a Structure Fire. As Companies arrived on scene, there were reports of smoke alarms activated and water flowing from sprinklers. Firefighters rapidly made their way through the light smoke on the third floor and performed a drop-bag operation to obtain hose-lines. A small fire on an outside balcony was quickly extinguished in just 18 minutes. There was minimal content damage, but extensive de-watering was required. Additional Firefighters performed a detailed search on all floors of the 87,000 sq-foot building to ensure no one was in need of rescuing. There were no injuries nor was anyone displaced. Thanks to the diligent firefighting and salvage efforts of the 71 Los Angeles Firefighters, the estimated dollar loss was limited to only $3,000 ($1,000 structure and $2,000 contents). The cause of the fire in this 95 year-old building is under active investigation, but does not appear to be arson at this time.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department