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LAFD Awards Luncheon Announced for March 3 at the Hollywood Palladium

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 |

Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation. Click to learn more...
The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation invites you to join members of the Los Angeles Fire Department, community leaders and other LAFD supporters at the...

Los Angeles Fire Department 2011 Awards Luncheon
Thursday, March 3, 2011
11:30 AM
Hollywood Palladium
6215 West Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028


Please join Fire Chief Millage Peaks as he presents the Medal of Valor, Medal of Merit, Special Commendations and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dress: Business Attire
RSVP by: February 24, 2011

Cost: General Public / $100 per ticket (all tables seat 10)
LAFD Sworn Members & LAFD Civilian Employees / $50.00 per ticket

For additional information, tickets and event sponsorship opportunities, please call (310) 552-4139.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Westwood Man Severely Injured in Attempt to Move Burning Couch

Saturday, January 22, 2011 |

On Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, a total of 40 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Wade White, responded to a Structure Fire with Civilian Injury at 1630 South Bentley Avenue in Westwood.



Firefighters arrived quickly to find what appeared to be a balcony fire on the uppermost floor of a U-shaped 3 story garden-style apartment building. As they bolted up stairwells and through hallways to the apartment of fire origin, firefighters calmly guided several residents to 'shelter in place' pending an assessment of the blaze.

Near the involved apartment, firefighters were met by a severely burned man, whom they immediately removed to safety as they tackled the flames, which were extinguished in less than ten minutes.

In halting words, the burned man advised responders he had been awakened by one of the properly functioning smoke alarms within his apartment, alerting him to a burning couch in an adjacent room - which like the rest of his apartment, was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.

Rather than simply escape his apartment, the man unwisely attempted to move the flaming sofa to a nearby balcony. In doing so, he was swiftly enveloped in fire, sustaining painful second- and third-degree burns to his hands, arms, torso and face, as well as thermal injury to his upper respiratory system.

Provided prompt on-scene care by a team of LAFD Paramedics, he was transported to the nearby Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in serious condition. Following stabilization at that facility, it was anticipated the man would require prolonged specialty care at a regional burn center.

No other injuries were reported.

Property loss from the fire is estimated at $10,000 ($5,000 structure & $5,000 contents).

The cause of this small but devastating fire has been categorized as accidental, and attributed to a heating source placed too close to combustible furnishings.

(video)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Five Echo Park Residents Narrowly Escape Inferno

Friday, January 21, 2011 |

On Friday, January 21, 2011 at 6:39 AM, 5 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 32 Los Angeles Firefighters under the direction of Battalion Chief Joseph Klein, responded to a Structure Fire at 1324 Sutherland Street in Echo Park.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire showing from a 1,412 square-foot hillside single family home.



Navigating through a slim curbside gate and trio of narrow outside staircases to gain access, firefighters muscled hoselines and later ground ladders to battle intense flames that had taken hold of the front portion of a 106-year-old wood frame structure.

As the aggressive fire attack ensued, firefighters were pleased to learn that the home's five occupants had exited the building with minimal injury, prior to the Fire Department's arrival.

One of the residents however, had foolishly reentered the building in an attempt to reclaim possessions, sustaining smoke inhalation as well as first-degree burns to his neck and arms. In good condition following treatment by LAFD Paramedics, the man declined ambulance transport before being released at the scene.

Despite the diligent efforts of 32 Los Angeles Firefighters, one pet cat perished in the blaze. The well-coordinated assault on the flames held direct fire damage to a large front patio, adjacent bedroom, attic and dormer, with firefighters bringing flames under full control in just 17 minutes.

No other injuries were reported.

The three men and two women who lived separately within the home escaped only with their night clothes. They were assisted with temporary housing and human needs by volunteers from the American Red Cross.

There was no immediate evidence of functional smoke alarms within the home, as required by law. Firefighters later determined that the home's occupants owed their survival solely to the happenstance that one resident was awakened by the sound of fire, and was able to alert others.

Loss to the non-fire sprinklered home is estimated at $95,000 ($75,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze is categorized as accidental, and attributed to the careless discarding of smoking materials on the patio that ignited combustible furnishings.

(video)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Performs Confined Space Rescue at Atwater Village Medical Firm

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On Friday, January 21, 2011 at 3:57 AM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 84 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Craig Yoder, responded to a Confined Space Rescue at 4501 West Colorado Boulevard in the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles.

Responding to a report of persons unconscious within the 269,000 square-foot Baxter Healthcare Corporation blood plasma fractionation facility, first arriving Los Angeles Firefighters swiftly established a perimeter, command post and safe staging location as they donned protective gear to enter the facility.



Joined quickly by additional firefighters, and with an LAFD Hazardous Materials Squad and LAFD Urban Search & Rescue Team on the way, firefighters discovered and rescued an adult male found pulseless and non-breathing.

Nearby the man, but trapped within the confines of a cylindrical vessel, firefighters discovered a pair of his coworkers unconscious.

According to witnesses, the three men had been cleaning and/or maintaining high-technology medical equipment when they were suddenly overcome. The exact sequence in which the men collapsed has yet to be confirmed.

As LAFD personnel moved the first lifeless worker to an area of safety for advanced medical care, firefighters utilized strength and ingenuity to safely extract the pair of unconscious men through a 24" diameter portal atop the permanently mounted four-foot-tall by five-foot-wide tank in which they were imperiled.

The two critically ill men rescued from the tank, and their gravely ill colleague - who had his pulse and blood pressure restored by the skilled effort of LAFD Paramedics - were rushed alive to a trio of nearby hospitals. Though Los Angeles Police Officers later informed LAFD that one of the men had died, it was not immediately clear which had succumbed.

While LAFD Hazardous Materials experts determined a significant presence of ethanol in the area where the men collapsed, it was not immediately clear what role the substance had played, in whole or in part, in the worker's demise or his colleague's being rendered unconscious.

No other employee or responder injuries were reported.

Pursuant of protocol, Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department and Cal/OSHA responded to the scene to commence their respective death and injury investigations. The aforementioned agencies will be working closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner to positively identify the decedent, and to determine the precise cause, time and manner of his death.

Questions regarding the presence, need or injured men's use of safety equipment and approved worksite procedures remain within the purview of Cal/OSHA officials.

(video)

Submitted by Erik Scott and Brian Humphrey, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Extinguish Difficult Commercial Building Fire in Van Nuys

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On Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9:23 PM, 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 4 Hazardous Materials Teams, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, Department of Transportation, LAPD, Building & Safety, and 1 Rehab Air Tender under the direction of Assistant Chief Jeffery S. Mottram responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 14435 West Sherman Way in Van Nuys.

Firefighters arrived to find a large, two-story strip-mall with smoke showing from the roof. The 300' X 25' building contained multiple individual business that were closed for the evening.

Firefighters made forcible entry through glass doors into the building to allow Fire Attack teams inside. Simultaneously, Firefighters swiftly took to the lightweight panelized roof to perform vertical ventilation of intense heat and smoke.

Handlines were rapidly deployed inside and a search began to find the source of the smoke, however it proved to be a challenge. Flames were located in the walls on the second floor, toward the rear of the building. Fire discreetly climbed up the walls and viciously spread into a common attic space.

The first arriving 75 firefighters extinguished the bulk of the fire in 34 minutes. However the coordinated effort of 100 firefighters battled continual flare-ups in various locations for over two hours.

No civilians were injured. One firefighter suffered a minor hand injury and was transported to a local hospital in good condition.

Individuals from Building and Safety along with LAFD's Urban Search and Rescue Team evaluated the building for structural stability.

The cause of the fire remains under active investigation, and the dollar loss is still being tabulated.

(photos)

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Kitchen Fire Critically Burns Woman In Valley Glen

Thursday, January 20, 2011 |

On Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 9:00 AM, Los Angeles Firefighters quickly responded to a reported Structure Fire in Valley Glen. Upon making entry into an apartment unit, they found a kitchen fire that had already been extinguished. Unfortunately, an adult female suffered critical burns to her face, neck and arms while in the kitchen. When attempting to help, the victim's husband suffered moderate burn injuries to his hands.

The Los Angeles Fire Department and the National Fire Protection Association would like to share some staggering statistics:

Each year approximately 3,000 Americans die as a result of home fires and burns, and more than 200,000 are seen in our nation’s emergency rooms for burn injuries.

Burn injuries are commonly caused by flame, scalds or contact with a hot surface. Burns are painful and can result in serious disability, disfigurement - even death.

Most importantly, burns are preventable...
  • Turn pot and pan handles away from the front of your stove, and use the rear burners when possible.
  • Maintain a 3-foot 'kid-free' zone around your stove and wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.
  • Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.
  • Use extreme caution with items that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.
  • Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle, portable heater, lit fireplace or stove, or where a hot appliance might be in use.
Sadly, today a woman is in the hospital fighting for her life. By using the tips above, you and your loved ones can greatly reduce the chance of receiving a serious burn injury.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Commercial Building Fire In North Hollywood

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 |

On Monday, January 17, 2011 at 9:37 PM, 14 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, Department of Water & Power, and Department of Transportation, under the direction of Battalion Chief Timothy Ernst responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 12500 West Raymer Street in North Hollywood.

LAFD Battles Auto Fire Inside North Hollywood Business
Thanks to Battalion 12 Chief Officer Command Team's keen awareness while driving through the North Hollywood area, they observed smoke poring out of a 135' X 50' commercial building. Quickly notifying Operations Control Division (LAFD's 9-1-1 dispatch center), additional firefighters immediately responded.

Routine firefighting operations such as Forcible Entry and Fire Attack rapidly commenced. The bulk of the flames were toward the front of the 6,600 square-foot building doing business as Star Marble & Tile. As Truck Companies ordered "all ladders off the truck", firefighters were able to climb their way to the conventional, gable truss roof and perform vertical ventilation. A small diameter hose line was also utilized atop the roof to extinguish flames.
LAFD Battles Auto Fire Inside North Hollywood Business

Shortly thereafter, firefighters inside made their way through dark, smoky conditions and located the seat of the fire which was an automobile fully involved in flames. Although almost 100 firefighters responded, the first arriving 51 were able to fully extinguish the blaze in just 16 minutes, before anyone was injured. Dollar loss from the fire has been estimated at $65,000 ($40,000 structure & $25,000 contents). The suspected cause of this late evening blaze is categorized as "arcing".

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Fire Captain Injured in Elysian Park Vehicle Explosion

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 |

On Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 9:03 PM, one Company of Los Angeles Firefighters were dispatched to a vehicle fire in the 500 block of Solano Avenue near the Arroyo Seco Parkway in Elysian Park.

While battling the fire, a veteran Los Angeles Fire Department Captain sustained serious injuries when an explosion occured within the burning full-sized sedan. The injured Fire Captain was transported to an area hospital, where he remains in fair condition with a promising outlook.

Embedded below is the official LAFD Blue Sheet for this incident. Blue Sheets are preliminary summary reports issued by our agency for serious injuries, illnesses, accidents or near-miss incidents involving active duty personnel.

We are also pleased to provide unretouched photos from the incident scene.

LAFD Blue Sheet 2011-01-09 Incident 1140


NOTE: The Official LAFD Green Sheet, a companion document to the preliminary report above, was publicly disseminated on February 12, 2011. That document can be found here.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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

(photos)

Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Four-Plex Catches Fire Claiming One Life

Saturday, January 08, 2011 |

On Friday, January 7, 2011 at 10:43 PM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Richard Rideout responded to a Structure Fire at 1183 S. Hoover St. in Korea town.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke showing from one of the lower units, of a two story four-plex. Firefighters skillfully forced entry through the well secured structure, while extending hoselines into the home's entry way to do battle within.

Fire crews were immediately notified that occupants were still somewhere in the unit and may be trapped. As they aggressively fought the flames, a simultaneous search for victims went underway. Fire teams soon discovered one adult female and one adult male without vital signs of life. Firefighters immediately initiated basic and advanced life support measures while rushing them both to an area hospital in grave condition.

Other personnel on scene continued a systematic search of the smoke charged home, locating an additional victim who was treated and transported in stable condition for smoke inhalation. 53 firefighters mounted a bold and decisive attack on the fire, confining it to the one unit, and extinguishing the flames in 31 minutes. Unfortunately, and despite the prompt work of Los Angeles Firefighter/Paramedics and hospital staff, an adult female was declared deceased shortly after arriving at the hospital. Seeking to offer additional comfort to grieving friends and neighbors, the LAFD mobilized to provide compassionate assistance to those closest to the victim.

Ten individuals were displaced as a result of this incident, and the American Red Cross was called in to assist those residents who stand in need. The monetary loss from a fire can not truly be weighed in the wake of the loss of life, however the dollar loss of this incident is still being tabulated. There were no other injuries reported. A positive identification of the deceased, as well as the cause, manner and time of her death will be determined by Coroner's officials. The cause of the fire remains under an active investigation.

Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Haz-Mat Investigates Odor That Hospitalizes 17

Thursday, January 06, 2011 |

On Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 10:32 AM, 7 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 13 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 1530 South Olive Street in the South Park area of Downtown.

LAFD Squad 48Firefighters arrived to a five-story modern building over parking, attached to a smaller two-story building, to investigate a smell of an unusual odor. Some individuals inside this medical clinic stated the odor smelled similar to natural gas. With six persons from the premises initially complaining of generalized sickness, the medical facility doing business as Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center, wisely began its own evacuation of the 25 year-old building. First arriving firefighters immediately extracted and isolated the ill, while summoning an LAFD Hazardous Materials Team.

LAFD HazMat experts donned protective gear as their colleagues commenced a detailed medical assessment on the growing number of patients. A total of 75 firefighters secured the scene, ensured the ventilation systems were shut down and that there was no immediate life-threatening hazard in either of the two buildings. Firefighter / Paramedics rendered medical aid to a total of 18 patients, 17 of which were transported to various local hospitals in stable condition. Medical complaints of most patients were non-life-threatening generalized sickness, such as nausea and weakness.

Great care was taken by Los Angeles Fire Department's extensively trained and equipped HazMat team, whom remained on-scene for over two and a half hours to safely determine that there was no serious threat or escalating hazard. Though the odor dissipated and its source was undetermined, a small amount of Mercaptan, which is added to natural gas to provide its disagreeable odor, was detected in the area.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Tears Through Two-Story Hollywood Home

Wednesday, January 05, 2011 |

On Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 1:39 AM, 11 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Fred Mathis responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 127 North Serrano Avenue in Southeast Hollywood.

The first fire company arrived quickly to discover heavy smoke showing from the rear of a two story, Victorian Style single family dwelling. Firefighters were immediatly met with the challenge of 7-8 mph winds which pushed the fire through the structure causing a rapid spread of the flames.

Handlines were established and forced entry was made to do battle within the occupancy. Two minutes into the fight, a partial roof collapse occurred, while roof teams were cutting holes to release the super heated gases from inside the home. The Incident Commander ordered all companies out of the building and off the roof for a short defensive attack.

All personnel re-launched an aggressive and well-coordinated offensive attack confining the fire to the structure of origin. Due to the strong efforts of 77 Los Angeles Firefighters, the flames were brought under control in less than 31 minutes.

Two of the home's occupants made it out just prior to the structure being engulfed by flames. One adult male suffered a minor first degree burn to the hand and was treated on scene.

Fire loss is estimated at $380,000 ($300,000 structure & $80,000 contents). Although it is still unclear as to how this fire broke out, the cause of this early morning will remain under an active investigation by the LAFD.


Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Watts Fire Destroys Van, Garage & Duplex Under Construction

Saturday, January 01, 2011 |

On Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 6:56 PM, 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 86 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Kevin Pearson, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 8765 South McKinley Avenue in Watts.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire to the rear of and threatening a 25' x 100' residential duplex under construction.

The swift moving flames had consumed a van parked within an attached garage and heavily damaged that structure, before spreading to the unoccupied duplex, which was framed internally with dimensional lumber and externally wrapped in preparation for siding or stucco.

Despite a well coordinated attack that brought flames under control in just 23 minutes, the partially-constructed duplex, as well as the van and garage were destroyed by fire.

There were no injuries reported.

Loss to the van, garage and unoccupied duplex is estimated at $150,000. The fire was determined to be a deliberate act, and remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Improperly Discarded Fireplace Ashes Cause $70K Damage to Winnetka Home

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On Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 12:49 PM, 4 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, a total of 29 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Battalion Chief Chris Kawai, responded to a Structure Fire at 19927 Arminta Street in Winnetka.

Responding to initial reports of a rubbish fire, neighborhood firefighters arrived quickly to find flames from a large trash can had extended to the attic of a one-story single family home.

Firefighters swiftly extended ground ladders to the roof of the 1500 square foot residence to perform strategic vertical ventilation with chainsaws, as their colleagues deployed hoselines within the building to halt the spread of flame.

The combined effort of LAFD personnel within and above the structure quickly stemmed the downward and lateral advance of flame, confining the fire to the attic. Simultaneous and well-coordinated efforts to protect and salvage personal belongings further limited the impact of the fast-moving blaze, which was extinguished in just 19 minutes.

No injuries were reported.

The need to secure the home's utilities rendered the building temporarily untenable. The man, woman and teenage male residents stated a desire to seek their own accommodations.

Loss from the fire was limited to $70,000 ($50,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The cause of this rapidly spreading blaze was determined to be accidental, and is attributed to the improper disposal of fireplace ashes.

Los Angeles Firefighters emphasize that fireplace ashes must always be handled with care. After cooling thoroughly in the fireplace, ashes should be placed directly into a metal can and soaked completely with water. No other items should be placed in the can. The metal can must be immediately covered with its own tight-fitting non-combustible lid. The closed container should then be stored at a safe outdoor location away from any structure or combustible items.

(photos)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department