LAFD Welcomes a New Public Information Officer

Monday, December 27, 2010 |

Captain II Stephen J. Ruda has finished his tour-of-duty as Public Information Officer (PIO). We are proud to state that he has excelled as a leader in our agency and has promoted through the ranks to Battalion Chief and is now Commander of Battalion 10.

We are privileged to announce that Captain II, Jaime (Jay-mee) Moore is now serving as LAFD's PIO.
Here's a brief background on Captain Moore...

He grew up in the Venice/ Mar Vista area of Los Angeles. Raised speaking both English and Spanish, Captain Moore graduated from Santa Monica High School, earned his Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles and earned a Masters degree in Public Administration and Emergency Management from California State University, Long beach. He joined the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1995. As a firefighter with the LAFD, Captain Moore was assigned to all three geographical divisions of the city. He was assigned to the departments' Recruit Training Section, and spent a number of years as an officer working in South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles and in the Arson / Counter-Terrorism Section. Captain Moore is excited about his recent appointment to the Community Service Unit working as a PIO. This distinguished opportunity of representing the hard working members of the Los Angeles Fire Department will allow him to keep the citizens of Los Angeles informed as major events occur in their city.

Congratulations Chief Ruda, and welcome Captain Moore!

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Newborn Girl Safely Surrendered to Firefighters on Christmas Eve

Saturday, December 25, 2010 |

On Friday, December 24th, 2010 at 2:46 PM, 1 Company of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, under the direction of Captain, S. Hilton took in a Safe Surrender of a newborn infant at 4370 South Hoover Street in Exposition Park/Coliseum Area.


On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, a 27 year-old female walked up to Fire Station 46 with a small bundle in her arms. As firefighters warmly greeted this woman, she declared she had a newly born baby girl to give as a Safe Surrender. All 106 of LAFD's fire stations, along with local hospitals are Safe Surrender locations. This program is based on a statewide Safe Haven Law, and was championed on a regional basis by County Supervisor Don Knabe. It is intended to protect infants from being hurt or killed from abandonment. A parent or legal guardian can hand over a baby, three days old or younger.

Firefighters compassionately took the baby girl into their arms and used a blanket to keep her warm as they assessed her medically. The child was stated to be only six hours old and did not appear to be abused or neglected. Mother declined any medical treatment for herself, other than allowing firefighters to take vital signs. Happily neither baby or mother had a medical complaint. Per protocol, firefighters filled out the appropriate documentation and provided both mother and infant with an identifying bracelet. Firefighters embraced the child while monitoring her as she was transported to a local hospital. It is standard practice for the baby to be placed in protective custody and for Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to provide aid. We are happy to state that our last report was that the infant was very healthy and we are moved that this potentially tragic incident had a pleasant outcome. Firefighters affectionately nicknamed the Christmas Eve baby girl, "Noel".

For the abundance of kind-hearted individuals that have asked to adopt baby "Noel", we encourage you to click the above link to the DCFS or call their Public Affairs Department at (213) 351-5886. 

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Blaze Destroys Densely Packed Boyle Heights Home

Friday, December 24, 2010 |

On Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 11:48 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, a total of 46 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Kwame Cooper, responded to a Structure Fire at 172 South Clarence Street in Boyle Heights.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire showing from the front door and side window of a one-story 711 square-foot single family home densely packed and surrounded with personal possessions.

As teams of firefighters fought their way through pack-rat conditions fueling intense flames within, other LAFD personnel provided medical attention to the home's sole occupant, a man who was able to escape the inferno with only minor smoke inhalation. Fire Department Paramedics were soon also examining a neighbor man who witnessed the fire, for possible smoke exposure.

Fueled by large amounts of combustible storage, the fire took quick hold of and all-but-consumed the attic and key structural elements of the small wood-frame home, as firefighters confined the blaze to the structure of origin, extinguishing the flames in just 34 minutes.

The homeowner and neighbor declined further medical treatment or transportation, and were released at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The American Red Cross was summoned to provide shelter and human needs assistance to the displaced homeowner.

The presence, functional status and role of smoke alarms within the home could not be immediately determined. The compact 101 year-old building was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.

Loss from the fire, which destroyed the residence, has been estimated at $90,000 ($75,000 structure & $15,000 contents). The cause of this late night blaze is categorized as "under investigation".


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Video: Holiday Cooking Safety with Cameron Barrett

Thursday, December 23, 2010 |

The holiday season is a busy time for firefighters too. That's why the Los Angeles Fire Department and MySafeLA are teaming up to share tips that can keep the heat (and flames) out of your kitchen.

In this video, MySafeLA's Cameron Barrett shows how to handle a stove top grease fire as well as a blaze in a waste can...


To learn more, visit and bookmark the Fire Safety section of:



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

The Nine Steps of Flood Recovery

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 |

Though your home and contents may at first appear hopeless after a flood or mudslide, many of your belongings can be restored. If you do things right, your flooded home can be cleaned, dried out, rebuilt and reoccupied sooner than you think!

Play it safe. The dangers are not over when the water recedes. Your home's foundation, walls or ceilings may have weakened, the electrical system may have suffered damage - or floodwaters may have left behind things that can make you sick.

The Nine Steps of Flood Recovery:

Step 1. Take Care of Yourself First
    Protect yourself from stress, fatigue and health hazards. If you need food, clothing, shelter or referral to health care and social services call 2-1-1. To determine if you are eligible for federal government assistance visit DisasterAssistance.gov. To contact specific agencies:
Step 2. Give Your Home First Aid
    If evacuated, return home only when authorities indicate it is safe to do so. Dangers do not end when floodwaters recede. If there is any doubt about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering. Once certain it is safe to go inside, proceed carefully. Your damaged home is no place for small children or pets. While working to protect your home from further harm, be certain to maintain personal hygeine and use appropriate safety gear such as boots, rubber gloves and goggles. Don't hesitate to ask for help!
Step 3. Get Organized
    Document every loss and expense. Take photos, keep receipts and contact your Insurance Agent. Some things are not worth repairing and other things may be too complicated or expensive to do by yourself. A recovery plan can take these things into account and help you make the most of your time and money.
Step 4. Dry Out Your Home
    Floodwaters damage materials, leaving mud, silt and contaminants that can promote the growth of mold. You need to thoroughly dry your home to reduce these hazards and the damage they cause.
Step 5. Restore the Utilities
    Your work will be much easier if you have heat, electricity, clean water, and sewage disposal. We suggest these services be inspected and safely restored only by on-site utility workers, as quickly as possible.
Step 6. Clean Up
    Official documents and family treasures can often be preserved with special care. Throw away food, including canned goods contaminated by flood water. Any flooded part of your home or household item that contacted floodwater should be thoroughly washed and disinfected. When in doubt, throw it out! Don't risk injury or infection.
Step 7. Check on Financial Assistance
Step 8. Rebuild and Floodproof
    Take time to rebuild with safety in mind. Make improvements that will protect your building from the next flood and other likely disasters. Never rush into settlements or contracts. Get bids and opinions only from reputable, established firms willing to provide clear proof of license, training and insurance. Don't hesitate to ask for multiple references and inspect previous work.
Step 9. Prepare for the Next Flood
We trust these Nine Steps of Flood Recovery will help you recover quickly and safely. If there is additional assistance that your firefighters can provide, please visit your Neighborhood Fire Station or call us via 3-1-1.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Strip Mall Fire In Sherman Oaks

Sunday, December 19, 2010 |

 On Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 7:42 AM, 19 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 2 Hazardous Materials Teams, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Jeffery S. Mottram responded to a Major Emergency Fire at 15030 West Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

Aerial Ladder Truck

Within four minutes firefighters arrived to a U-shaped, 1-story strip mall with smoke showing. This 100' x 50' x 50' structure contained over a dozen business. Teams of firefighters swiftly took to the light weight panelized roof to perform vertical ventilation of intense heat and smoke. Additional firefighters forced entry into the business, extending handlines to do battle at the seat of the fire.

The origin of the blaze appeared to be from a unit that contained beauty supplies, however flames extended to the adjacent businesses on both sides as well as the attic and mansard. Over 130 firefighters were assigned to the incident, but the first arriving 60 were able to get it under control in just 42 minutes and no one was injured. Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of this early morning fire appears to be electrical in origin, however remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

House Fire In Eagle Rock Claims Life

Friday, December 17, 2010 |

On Friday, December 17, 2010 at 4:55 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, under the direction of Battalion Chief Craig Yoder responded to a Structure Fire at 4920 East Stratford Road in Eagle Rock.

Firefighters arrived within four minutes to a one-story single-family-dwelling, fully involved in flames. Due to reports of a man possibly trapped inside, firefighters forced their way into the inferno with hand-lines. Conditions inside the pack-rat filled residence rapidly worsened as signs of impending roof collapse and structural instability forced firefighters out of the structure and to attack the blaze defensively. Shortly thereafter two-thirds of the roof caved in, walls buckled and power wires from a triplex fell.

A total of 46 Firefighters knocked down the blaze in just 22 minutes. Urban Search and Rescue specialists were called to ensure structural stability of the 85 year-old home so firefighters could perform a detailed search through the rubble.

Sadly, after an extensive two hour overhaul, the remains of one victim was found beyond medical help in the rear of the small residence. The deceased is believed to be the only resident, a handicapped elderly male. However a positive identification, as well as the cause, time and manner of the death will be determined by the Coroner's Office.

In examining the fire's aftermath, there was no immediate evidence of a functional smoke alarm within the 85-year old residence, nor was it equipped with residential fire sprinklers. There were no window bars or security doors to impair the victim's escape. Monetary loss from the fire is estimated at $200,000 ($150,000 structure & $50,000 contents). The cause of the fire is under active investigation.


Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

47 Years Ago Today: LAFD Rescues 18 From 'River of Muddy Hell'

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 |

On the afternoon of December 14th, 1963, with swift suddenness, improbable tragedy struck Los Angeles.

In less than two hours, a "river of muddy hell" from a seemingly placid reservoir would take 5 lives as automobiles, fragments of houses and chunks of concrete caught in floodwaters from the Baldwin Hills Dam collapse impacted what minutes before had been a quiet Saturday-relaxed community.


Above the rushing water, television station KTLA would earn the distinction of broadcasting the world's first live aerial coverage of a disaster in progress, as unwary residents trapped on roofs, in second floor rooms and on small insecure islands of debris, signaled desperately for help.

And help was swift to come.

Unique in the rescue effort was the work of the three Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter pilots dispatched to the scene. Their unique story and role in the LAFD's rescue of 18 residents whose fate was all-but-sealed, is best told through excerpts of the official report of Battalion Chief Lynn W. Nelson... (read more...)


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Midmorning Blaze Rips Through Apartment House

Monday, December 13, 2010 |

On Monday, December 13, 2010 at 7:01 AM, 11 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief J. Castro responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 636 N Kingsley Dr. in Southeast Hollywood.

Arriving quickly, the first company discovered heavy smoke showing from one unit on the first floor of a two story apartment type house. Just as fire personnel arrived, reports came in that individuals may still have been trapped somewhere in the structure. Firefighters swiftly went into action on scene, extended handlines, and making forced entry to locate the source of the smoke while initiating a primary search for the possible victims.

The building was well involved with fire, threatening structures just a short distance to the north of the occupancy. Fortunately, one adult female and two teenage females had already made it safely out of the incident, all were treated on scene for minor injuries.

The aggressive and well-coordinated efforts of over eighty Los Angeles Firefighters confined the fire to the structure of origin and brought the flames under control in less than 21 minutes. Fire loss to building is estimated at $45,000 ($25,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The cause of this blaze is still under an active investigation


Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Stop High-Rise Blaze From Spreading

Sunday, December 12, 2010 |

On Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 2:14 PM, 20 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 4 Helicopters, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 2170 South Century Park East in Century City.

Firefighters quickly arrived to a 21-story residential highrise to find fire blowing out of one unit on the 20th floor. Occupants had already began to properly evacuate the 480 unit building in an orderly fashion.


In accordance with the LAFD's well-established High-Rise Incident Command System, Firefighters secured the lobby, fire control room, stairwells and established a liaison with on site staff of 44 year-old building. With detailed knowledge of the structure gained during fire prevention and tactical pre-plan inspections, Firefighters carrying as much as 100 pounds of equipment each began the strenuous task of climbing 20 flights of stairs. With support teams readily staged on the floors below them, Firefighters assigned to fire attack aggressively assaulted the fire with handlines, confining the flames to the non-sprinklered unit of origin before it spread. Also Fire Department helicopters were staffed remotely as 'Airborne Engine Companies'.

A total of 141 Firefighters assisted in fully extinguishing the blaze in just 23 minutes and performed a detailed search through this contemporary styled structure. There were no injuries to Firefighters, however three adult female civilians suffered non-life threatening injuries, two of which required transportation to local hospitals.

Following extinguishment, dozens of Firefighters worked for several hours assisting building officials with salvage operations and water removal from the 18th through 20th floors. Dollar-loss from the blaze is being tabulated and the cause is under investigation.


Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

One Man Injured, Five Other Souls Saved In A Fire

Saturday, December 11, 2010 |

On Saturday, December 11,2010 at 9:06 AM,4 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters,1 LAFD Rescue Ambulance,1 EMS Battalion Captain,2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, under the direction of Battalion Chief Robert Willcox responded to a Structure Fire at 19016 W. Nashville St. in Porter Ranch.

Firefighters arrived to find a single-family home with heavy smoke showing. An aggressive attack on the fire, combined with vertical ventilation was implemented to confine the fire to a rear room in the structure. An 85 year old male resident who excited the home, was injured after attempting to extinguish the flame on his own. The man was treated and transported to an area hospital and is listed in stable condition.

During the fire fight and a simultaneous search throughout the structure, firefighters discovered and rescued five cats from inside the house. Having been exposed to the thick toxic smoke, four were brought out lifeless, with an additional having breathing problems.



Firefighters quickly went into action sparing no time to provide supplemental oxygen in an effort to revive the animals. Happily all five souls survived and were transferred to the custody of Animal Control Officers.

The occupant's daughter, who had reached the scene, expressed her gratitude in that these articles and collectibles were family treasures and many were irreplaceable , both in dollar amount and personal value.

The estimated dollar loss for this incident is $250.000 ($150.000 structure & $75.000 content). The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Several Residents Displaced After Devastating Fire

Thursday, December 02, 2010 |

On Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 5:11 PM, 17 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1736 E LAS VEGAS ST. X PLEASANT Ave in Boyle Heights.
 
Firefighters arrived on scene to a two story multi-resident home with several separate occupancies under a duplex type construction. An LaCo. Fire Department Squad who was already close by, along with LAFD Personnel made a quick forcible entry through two of the structures metal clad doors to face heavy smoke and fire.

Firefighters had to knock down a bulk of the flames in order to reach the second story where it was reported that additional victims may still be trapped. Roof teams on the outside put up a 20 ft ladder, to rescue a 67 year old man who was hanging out of a smoke filled second story window. Personnel on the roof had the unusual operation of making a bridge spanning one duplex to the other in order to cut hole on an extremely steep pitched roof line.

The entire operation, from the knocked down of the fire, to the rescuing of all the building's occupants was successful. Thanks to the quick and decisive work of all the firefighters, 22 victims including one infant were displaced, but alive. Only the 67 year old male was treated and transported to an area hospital for minor injuries.

The American Red Cross was on hand to assist all those residents in need of help. Fire loss was estimated at $ 225.000 ($150.000 structure & $75.000 contents). The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Debuts 'LAFDmobile' Smartphone Application

Wednesday, December 01, 2010 |

NOTE:
The hosting service that supported development of the LAFDmobile application [emulator] described below, has announced they will discontinue service on March 28, 2014. We will provide free service until that time. When a successor application is developed, it will be announced here on the LAFD News & Information blog.
The Los Angeles Fire Department is pleased to unveil LAFDmobile, a free application for iPhone and Android smartphones.

Created and funded as a proof-of-concept by a veteran firefighter to support the "LAFD Everywhere" initiative, LAFDmobile is designed to put timely and authoritative information into the hands of mobile Angelenos.

Though the free application works only on two platforms at this time, there are plans to include other popular devices.

Convenient and easy to use, LAFDmobile consolidates many of the Los Angeles Fire Department's existing on-line offerings into a single mobile dashboard.

To install the LAFDmobile application on your iPhone or Android device, simply enter the URL (web address) below into your smartphone's existing browser:

http://bit.ly/lafd-mobile

NOTE: The URL above is case sensitive (all lower case) and must be visited via your existing mobile device web browser. The LAFDmobile application is not available in iTunes or the Android Marketplace. Those with non-supported smartphones can obtain similar information through the Department's LAFD.ORG website and other on-line offerings.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

You can also scan the image above
with your smartphone QR Code Reader
to easily install LAFDmobile