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Wharf Fire Brings Response by Land and by Sea

Friday, September 02, 2011 |

U.S. COAST GUARD BASE, SAN PEDRO - Late in the evening, on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, LAFD resources stationed down in the Port of Los Angeles were dispatched to a reported "Wharf Fire." The heavy response came by both land and by sea, as Fireboats 1, 2 and 5 all swiftly cruised through the Port, while the balance of the assigned resources arrived by more traditional routes from all around      San Pedro.

The wharf was located on the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Base and with very limited personnel actually living and stationed there, it was quickly realized by those on-scene, they were in need of help. The call was made to several of the emergency agencies that serve the Port. Once on-scene, there were issues that needed to be addressed by the Incident Commanders quickly. One, was a large obstacle that impeded the initial fire attack, a 175 foot-long USCG ship (a "buoy tender") docked at the large wharf. Reports indicated that it may have taken as long as two hours to reposition the ship. Another, was the seat of the fire, which was found to be deep under the wharf, making access extremely difficult.

Rather than risk further damage to the wharf or the USCG Base, Battalion Chief Ray Gomez, in Unified Command with the USCG and the Los Angeles Port Police, directed a fire attack that came from both above and below. Divers off the Fireboats suited-up and dove the dark waters with "under-wharf" firefighting nozzles to handle the bulk of the fire, while hoselines were advanced from the Engine Companies above, so as not to allow for any extension. The smaller Fireboats (Boats 1 and 5) allowed for maneuverability, but it was the combined fire attack by all resources on-scene, that finally put the fire to rest.

The stubborn fire took 46 total Firefighters and Divers, nearly one and half hours to fully extinguish. Despite the extremely hazardous operations involved, no injuries were reported and the fire was confined to a relatively small portion of the wharf.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the dollar loss, not yet tabulated.

BT1 E40 BT2 BT5 E36 RA36 E112 RA112 E248 T48 T85 E285 EM6 BC6 BC13 E64 

Submitted by Matt Spence
Spokesman, Los Angeles Fire Department


Anonymous said...

Another job well done, keep up the good work

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