Fire Destroys Second Story Of Vacant Building

Sunday, January 09, 2011 |

On Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 1:14 PM, 19 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 6 Division Chief Officer Command Teams, under the direction of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 3850 West Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw area of Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke and fire showing from a 75' x100' commercial building. Fire crews mounted a swift and offensive attack while making strong headway to locate the origin of the flames. Interior attack teams and support teams established a staging area, to optimize a strategic assault that would confine the fire to a rear section of the second floor.

Firefighters using handlines, along with, strong teamwork and precise vertical ventilation, finally found the area where the flames were concentrated. The Incident Commander called for additional companies, as well as issuing an emergency alert, for all operations to shift to a defensive mode of attack.

The fire soon extended through the roof causing air conditioning units and other equipment from the top to begin falling through the structure. A second emergency alert was made, that one Los Angeles Firefighter was reported to be down, possibly injured on the second floor of the building. Although the firefight was still ongoing, swift attention was given to assist the fallen member, who was quickly found and taken out of the structure.

Apparently a portion of the falling roof and some of the ceiling fell on the firefighter. He sustained non-life threatening injuries and was later transported to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in stable condition, with expectations of a full recovery.

It took 153 firefighters to confine the fire entirely within the occupancy of origin, achieving a knockdown in 1 hour and 36 minutes. After a complete search, the building was declared vacant and no civilians were injured during the fight.

Although efforts were made to minimizing damage to the vacant structure, the entire second floor was heavily burned. It is still unclear as to how this fire broke out, and will remain as an active investigation by LAFD Officials


Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


james said...

I am working on an assignment for a class in Emergency & Disaster Management. Can you tell me how the ICS was used in this incident?

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Thanks for the note. While our staff can answer many generalities related to this week-old fire, your research would best benefit from the insight of a Chief Officer who was present at the blaze, ideally the Incident Commander himself.

We therefore respectfully direct you to the Headquarters Office of our 2nd Field Division, where you can seek Chief Terrazas (who was in charge of the blaze), one of his colleagues or a subordinate who was present at the fire. You can reach their office directly at (213)485-6290.

Please accept our best wishes for success at your important endeavor.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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