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LAFD HazMat Responds When Dock Worker Takes Ill

Thursday, June 30, 2011 |

TERMINAL ISLAND - A 37 year-old longshoreman was taken to the hospital on Thursday evening, June 30, 2011, after possible exposure to a substance spilled at a freight yard in the Port of Los Angeles.

Twenty-eight Los Angeles Fire Department personnel - including an LAFD Hazardous Materials Squad, under the command of Battalion Chief Raymundo Gomez, were summoned at 6:52 P.M. to the Yusen Terminal at 701 East New Dock Street on Terminal Island.

The worker, who complained of a headache and general malaise, told first-arriving LAFD Paramedics that his symptoms commenced immediately after noting a substance on the ground near a sealed 20' cargo container.

Though no evacuations were necessary, harbor-area protocol brought the interagency response of personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Port Police, Long Beach Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard and L.A. County Fire Department Health Hazardous Materials Division.

LAFD Hazmat experts opened the locked cargo container to find it half-filled with 55-gallon drums containing Hydrogen Peroxide. Following a methodical investigation of nearly two and a half-hours, they determined that the freight was intact, and that pint of 'resin-like' liquid seen on the ground was not associated with the suspect container and of no escalating hazard.

The ill dock worker was taken by LAFD ambulance in good condition to the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro for further evaluation, as a private on-site cleanup firm removed the yet-identified substance under the guidance of health officials.


Dispatched Units: E40 RA36 E48 T48 E248 SQ48 RA848 BC6 EM6 RA112

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Chemical Investigation at Science Annex

Friday, June 24, 2011 |

On Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team and 49 Firefighters, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Manuel Lafarga, responded to a Chemical Investigation at 2250 East Alcazar Street in Lincoln Heights.

First arriving units were quick to gather as much information as was available at the USC Clinical Science Annex. It was discovered that the unidentified substance was isolated to one, single laboratory on the second floor of the two-story facility. The decision was then made by the Incident Commander to safely and quickly evacuate the entire building. However, there were 10 lab workers close enough in proximity to the spill, that warranted brief isolation from the lab. This task was carried-out by Firefighters who all made entry dressed in their appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE's). Subsequently, each of the 10 lab workers and another 14 building occupants (also on the floor at the time of the spill) received body scans with the Hazardous Material Squad's radiological detectors.

As an extra safety measure, a Decontamination Team was also put in place. Thankfully, there were no direct exposures to the spill, all detector readings were within normal limits and no occupants exhibited any signs or symptoms of illness or discomfort. Decontamination, therefore, was not required and all were eventually cleared and released at the scene.

The substance was deemed to be unharmful and of very small quantity (less than 2 ounces). After a meticulous sweep of the entire building and the processing of its occupants, the lab was sealed, the incident declared static and after three hours, was turned over to the Los Angeles County Health and Hazardous Materials Department as well as USC officials.

Adjacent occupancies, while alarmed because of the nature of the incident, were sheltered-in-place briefly, but were not affected due to the strategic management of the incident.

The incident is under investigation.


Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman Los Angeles Fire Department

Grass Fire Near Cahuenga Pass

Monday, June 20, 2011 |

LAFD Makes Quick Work of Grass Fire Near CahuengaOn Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 2:53 PM, 8 Fire Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, all under the direction of Division Chief Michael Little, responded to a Brush Fire in the Cahuenga Pass Area near the 101 freeway.

A small column of smoke ascending from the hillside area alerted passing motorists to a growing grass fire. Firefighters encountered approximately one quarter acre of grass burning uphill with little wind, approximately one half mile south of Barham Boulevard and Cahuenga Boulevard. As additional Firefighters arrived they were deployed to attack the hot flanks of the fire in an attempt to control the perimeter of fire and provide protection for any near by structures.

Over 32 Firefighters were strategically deployed for a quick aggressive attack on the sides of the fire and were able to gain control and extinguish the flames in 23 minutes. Due to favorable weather conditions and an aggressive, well coordinated attack on the fire, no structures were damaged. There were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire was unintentional and undetermined.


Submitted by Diana Igawa & Erik Scott, Spokespersons
Los Angeles Fire Department

House Fire Claims 1 Life in Beverly Glen/Bel Air

Saturday, June 18, 2011 |

Fatality Structure FireOn Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 3:35 AM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 62 Firefighters along with Members from Department of Water & Power, and 1 Crisis Response Team, all under the direction of Battalion Chief John Potter responded to a Structure Fire at 2171 North Basil Lane in the Beverly Glen/Bel Air area.

Firefighters made their way up narrow windy roads to find a two-story Single Family Dwelling well involved in fire. Additional resources were immediately requested to assist in battling the intense flames and to protect near by hillside homes. Fire shot through the roof, self ventilating the structure and causing electrical power lines to fall.

Sadly, during a Search and Rescue of the 1,440 square-foot home, a 79 year-old female was located in an upstairs master-bedroom and was determined deceased. Also a 50 year-old male was transported to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Firefighters successfully extinguished the flames in just 25 minutes. In examining the fire's aftermath, there was no immediate evidence of a functional smoke alarm within the residence. There were no window bars or security doors present to impair egress, and the 53-year old residence was not equipped with fire sprinklers.

A positive identification of the deceased woman, as well as the precise cause, time and manner of her death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
Fatality Structure Fire
The cause of early morning blaze is under active investigation and monetary loss is still being tabulated.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Sculpture of Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr Unveiled

Thursday, June 16, 2011 |

Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr.
The African American Firefighter Museum had an unveiling on June 14, 2011. Renowned sculptor Artis Lane created a large bust of Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr.

In 1940 Hartsfield was the 80th African American to join the Los Angeles Fire Department. Although he is 92 years old he is still affectionately referred to as the “Rookie” a name given to him because he was not allowed to go through the Drill Tower due to segregation. Arnett later became a practicing attorney, professor and a Civil Service Commissioner.


You can visit this historic presentation at your African American Firefighter Museum located at 1401 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90021.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Greater Alarm Fire in Sun Valley Quickly Neutralized

Sunday, June 12, 2011 |

Salvage Yard Blaze in Sun ValleyOn Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 10:15 PM, 11 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 4 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team and a total of 92 Firefighters, all under the direction of Battalion Chief John Duca, responded to a Greater Alarm at 9797 North Glenoaks Boulevard in Sun Valley.

Even against the dark, night sky, a large plume of smoke could be seen enroute to the incident, indicating Firefighters were going to be engaged in a significant battle. First arriving companies confirmed a large outside fire at an auto salvage yard (DBA: Elite Auto). After making swift entry onto the property, Firefighters encountered additional concerns of not only downed power-lines, but also combustible metals, both of which present extreme hazards to personnel because of their volatility.

The command decision was quickly made to deploy large hose streams from both the ground and from aerial ladders in an effort to extinguish the stubborn blaze and to protect the adjacent occupancies from further damage. This large, outside fire burned so fiercely that two structures on the adjacent property (DBA: Elite Auto) sustained moderate damage.

Due to the strategic efforts of the command teams and an aggressive, sustained fire attack by nearly 100 Firefighters, the troops quickly gained the upper hand. The skillful firefight continued and the well-coordinated attack resulted in a knockdown in just over an hour.

The cause of the fire and its origin are under active investigation and the dollar loss is still being tabulated. There were no injuries.

Submitted by Matt Spence
Spokesman Los Angeles Fire Department

Blood Drives and Pancake Breakfasts to Benefit Fire Families

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Join the Los Angeles Fire Department in our efforts to help a member of our fire family. Please consider donating your blood or platelets to help the young son of Firefighter Mike Fortini. "Little Mikey" was unfortunately diagnosed with A.L. Leukemia and is expected to undergo at least two months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. He needs our help!
LAFD Blood Drive for "Little Mikey"

Two Blood Drives will be held during the month of June, with a Firefighters' Pancake Breakfast and other snacks served to all donors.

June 15, 2011 in Downtown Los Angeles at Fire Station 4, from 7:00 am - 1:00 pm.
Fire Station 4 is located at 450 East Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA  90012. For additional information, contact Nelson Joo at (949) 636-6077 or Fire Station 4 (213) 485-6204.

June 23, 2011 in the San Fernando Valley area at Fire Station 87, from 7:00 am - 1:00 pm.
Fire Station 87 is located at 10124 Balboa Blvd, Granada Hills, CA  91344.  For additional information, contact Fire Station 87 at (818) 360-1440 or (818) 756-8687.

LAFD Blood Drive for "Little Mikey"For those unable to make either of these events, there will be an on-going blood and platelet donation for Michael Fortini Jr. at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd., L.A., CA  90027. The hospital's donation hours are Monday-Friday from 7:00 am - 4:00 pm and on weekends from 7:00 am - 1:00 pm. Please call the hospital in advance to make an appointment at (323) 361-2441.

As a reminder, all blood types are needed and all blood donations will benefit Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and LAFD family members.

Please mark your calendars and make plans to join us. On behalf of "Little Mikey" and the rest of the LAFD Families in need, we thank you!

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Avert Natural Gas Disaster in North Hollywood

Monday, June 06, 2011 |

On Monday, June 6, 2011 at 10:04 AM, 8 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, a total of 63 Firefighters all under the direction of Assistant Chief Jeffery S. Mottram, responded to a LEAKING NATURAL GAS incident at 6800 North Coldwater Canyon Avenue in North Hollywood.
Natural Gas Leak in North Hollywood

First arriving resources quickly confirmed that an approximte three-inch gas line had been broken during a street re-paving project at the intersection of North Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Vanowen Street. Additional resources were immediately ordered to assist with the precautionary evacuation of local businesses. Upon further evaluation, it was determined that the gas flow posed no immediate threat to residents in the area. The leak was located, capped and every precaution was taken to ensure citizen safety.

Following the investigation of the surrounding area, it was determined the best course of action would be to advise all in the vicinity to seek shelter indoors. Officials at two local schools, Coldwater Canyon Elementary and James Madison Middle School, were aided by Firefighters in clearing the playgrounds and getting all students into class rooms until the gas had dissipated. By noon, both schools were back to normal operations.

Natural Gas Leak in North Hollywood

This incident was under Unified Command between the LAFD and LAPD until the hazard had been mitigated at approximately 3:00pm, before anyone was injured. At that point, most Fire resources were made available for other emergency responses and the incident was turned over to the Gas Company.

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LA Firefighters Battle Apartment Blaze in Pico-Union

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On Monday, June 6, 2011 at 3:45 AM, 12 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 5 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 1 Hazardous Materials Team,  2 EMS Battalion Captains, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Emergency Air Unit, a total of 95 Firefighters all under the direction of Assistant Chief David Yamahata responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1400 South Kenmore Avenue in Pico-Union area of Downtown Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived to find a two-story center-hallway apartment with heavy smoke pouring out from a penthouse door. The 24 unit, 84 year-old building was unoccupied due to being tented for termite control. Firefighters swiftly extended ground ladders to the roof of the 10,000 square foot building to perform strategic vertical ventilation with chainsaws, as their colleagues deployed hose-lines into units to halt the spread of flame. The majority of the fire originated in a bathroom, however flames rapidly ran up walls and into the attic. The blaze was fully extinguished in just 34 minutes before anyone was injured. The cause appeared to be electrical components in the ceiling of one unit. Approximately four units sustained the bulk of the damage. The dollar loss is still being tabulated.

Submitted by Erik Scott & Cecil Manresa, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

Encino Cactus Festival To Highlight Fire Safe Vegetation

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Image Courtesy LACSS
With the dry heat of Summer soon upon us, many Los Angeles residents are turning to nature for ways to stay cool, limit water use, prevent fire danger and add beauty to their lives.

It will not surprise you then, that Los Angeles Firefighters are among speakers at a special event addressing these issues and more. We hope you'll join us Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12, 2011 for the:

Los Angeles Cactus and Succulent Society
11th Annual Drought Tolerant Plant Festival
City of Los Angeles - Sepulveda Garden Center
16633 Magnolia Boulevard
Encino, CA 91406


The show runs Saturday from 9:00AM - 5:00PM, with presentations starting at 10:00AM; and continues Sunday from 9:00AM - 4:00PM, with kids events starting at 10:30AM.

On Saturday at 1:00PM, LAFD Assistant Chief Mark Stormes will engage attendees with an informative discussion of "Vegetation Management in the Los Angeles City Brush Zone".

For additional information about this event, please visit:



Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LA Firefighters Battle Blaze in Downtown Wholesale District

Thursday, June 02, 2011 |

On Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 0:22 AM, 18 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 6 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Rehab Air Tender, 1 Emergency Air and 137 total firefighters, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1238 East Olympic Boulevard in the Wholesale District.


 

Firefighters arrived to find a row of one-story commercial buildings covering 8,722 square-feet with heavy fire showing from two units. Worker's outside of the non-occupied business flagged down Firefighters and assisted access, eliminating the need of forcible entry. Additional resources were quickly called and large hose streams were deployed to attain maximum water-flow on this blaze.

The contents of this fire were highly combustible as the occupancy was a party-supplies company dealing largely in pinatas and other paper decorations. Firefighters were quickly forced into a defensive attack due to intense flames compromising the integrity of the structure, resulting in a full collapse of the roof other than the arch-trusses.

Complete extinguishment of the 90 year-old sprinklered building was obtained in one hour and 26 minutes, before anyone was injured. The cause of this early morning blaze was contributed to sparks from workers repairing rolling steel doors. The dollar loss is still being tabulated.

Submitted by Erik Scott & Matt Spence, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Rips Through Furniture Store Near Atwater Village

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On Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 9:05 PM, 21 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 10 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 5 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Emergency Air Tender, a total of 148 Los Angeles Firefighters assisted by Glendale Fire Department, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 3053 North Fierro Street in Glassel Park near Atwater Village.


Firefighters arrived to find a one-story, commercial building approximately 200' x 75' with heavy fire showing and immediately called for additional resources. Fire crews aggressively advanced hose-lines to preserve the property and contents of this high-end, furniture manufacturing and sales company (doing business as "Haute House").

The additional challenge of protecting adjacent structures was immediately met by firefighters. Due to the large amount of combustible materials inside the structure, flames rapidly spread and intensely burned, resulting in a full roof collapse. Large hose streams and ladder pipe operations, capable of pouring copious amounts of water on the blaze were utilized.

Due to the determined effort and seamless teamwork of all on scene, the blaze was fully extinguished in one hour and 20 minutes before anyone was injured. Flames were predominately confined to the building of origin. Fire loss to the non-occupied structure is estimated at $1,750,000 ($1,500,000 structure & $250,000 content). The cause of the blaze is under active investigation.

Submitted by Erik Scott & Matt Spence, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department