Errant Lane Change on Freeway Yields 7 Seriously Injured

Sunday, July 24, 2011 |

At approximately 11:20 this morning, an automobile carrying seven passengers made a very late attempt to exit the Westbound 10 Freeway at Fairfax Avenue. As the driver cut across several lanes, the reckless auto managed to collide with another on the freeway, before missing the targeted exit altogether. What resulted was a short trip down a vertical embankment, where the passenger vehicle then overturned onto the Washington Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue intersection. In the process, the engine compartment of the overturned auto caught fire. Nearly 40 Firefighters responded to the incident, making quick work of the small auto fire and quickly assessing each of the involved passengers.

It was discovered that one patient (an approximate 2 year-old male) had been ejected from the car. The young passenger, allegedly, had not been secured in a car-seat, as is required by California law. All seven occupants of the vehicle (reportedly, a small 2-door, passenger auto) were transported by LAFD Rescue Ambulance with various injuries ranging from serious to critical. At the time of the incident, it was not apparent that they, themselves had been securely fastened by seat-belts.

The other involved vehicle on the freeway sustained minor damage and its driver was treated and later released at the scene.

The incident is under active investigation.

E68 RA68 E294 T94 BC18 RA58 E43 RA43 E26 EM14 RA61 RA92 RA29 EM2 EM15

Submitted by Matt Spence,
Spokesman Los Angeles Fire Department

Public Help Sought in North Hollywood Arson Fires


NORTH HOLLYWOOD - The Los Angeles Fire Department's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section is investigating a series of intentionally set fires that occurred this week along the Lankershim Boulevard corridor between Burbank Boulevard and Saticoy Street in North Hollywood.

LAFD Investigators are urging residents to be alert, make note of suspicious activity and minimize the threat of arson by removing dry vegetation, trash and debris. Property owners are also encouraged to use outdoor lighting, lock vehicles and place rubbish within covered trash cans in well-secured areas to curtail the possibility of arson.

The active investigation into these purposely set fires is being led by the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section, working closely with officers from the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood Community Police Station.

Anyone witnessing active fire, fire-setting or imminent danger to life and property is encouraged to call 9-1-1 immediately.

Those with information about these or other suspicious fires, should call the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section directly at (213) 485-6095 or the on-duty Operations Control Dispatch (OCD) Floor Captain at (213) 485-4701.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Mourns the Passing of a Fellow Firefighter

Saturday, July 23, 2011 |

As you may have recently heard, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department are mourning the off-duty passing of fellow Firefighter Eric Shepherd.

The LAFD would like to share some additional information about this very special man...

Eric Shepherd was born on July 12th, 1978 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Raised in Carson, California, Eric graduated from Long Beach Jordan High School in 1996. Later that year, Eric joined the United States Air Force and served as a firefighter in Kuwait and at home at Edwards Air Force Base. After four years of dedicated service to his country, Eric was honorably discharged as a Senior Airman.

In July of 2003, Eric joined the Los Angeles Fire Department. Following the drill tower and probationary assignments, Eric transferred to Fire Station 29 in Battalion 11, serving the Wilshire Center and Mid-City areas of Los Angeles. Widely recognized as a conscientious and talented firefighter, as well as a generous and genuine friend, Eric quickly earned the respect and admiration of his peers and the public he proudly served. He successfully tested for the rank of engineer and was looking forward to the added challenges and responsibilities of the promotion.

Eric died suddenly while off-duty on July 18th, 2011. He is survived by his father, Ronald and his stepmother Cindy, his mother Loretta, sister Rene, and the love of his life Cacherel Smaith, with whom he brought into this world and raised as the apple of his eye, his daughter Sarai.

He was a credit to his family and friends, his country, the fire service and his department. His warmth, laughter, and easy going demeanor will always be cherished. Eric will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

Firefighter Eric Shepherd was assigned to Fire Station 29 "C" Platoon.

All members of the community are welcome to join us in celebrating the life of Firefighter Eric Shepherd.

Public Memorial Services for LAFD Firefighter Eric Shepherd:
*The Memorial Service will be streamed "live" on the "Faith Dome" (click this link) website on
Friday, July 29th from 9:30 am -12:30 pm.

*Members of the Fire Service and allied agencies that wish to have a formal presence, are asked to contact LAFD's Planning Section at (213) 978-3845.

*All flowers being delivered to the Crenshaw Christian Center "Faith Dome" for FF Shepherd's Memorial Service, must be delivered no later than 9:30 am on Friday, July 29, 2011.

*If you would like to make a donation, FF Eric Shepherd's Family respectfully asks that any donations be made to a fund that has been established for his young daughter, in her name:

        "Sarai Shepherd Educational Fund" (Account # 10000758996)
        Los Angeles Fireman's Credit Union
        815 Colorado Boulevard
        Los Angeles, CA 90041

We thank you for the outpouring of support in this time of sadness.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

"Ride for 9-11" to Commence at LAFD Historical Society Museum - Sunday, July 24

Friday, July 22, 2011 |

"Ride for 9-11" is a 3308 mile bicycle ride across the United States to honor and keep alive the memory of those who made the "ultimate sacrifice."  Those 343 Firefighters-lost, and the thousands of other first-responders, civilians and members of our armed forces, who continue to serve our country...should never be forgotten!

"The Ride For 9-11" will commence in Los Angeles at the LAFD Historical Society Museum located at "Old Fire Station 27" on July 24, 2011 with a special ceremony. The event will start at . The riders will depart promptly at .

Several of our own Los Angeles Fire Department, active-duty members will join other Southern California area Firefighters to take part in this ride across America. Together, they will cross 15 states over the next 47 days and will arrive in New York at the FDNY Firefighters Memorial on September 9, 2011 to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of "9/11."

The goals of the "Ride for 9-11" are to honor the Public Servants that lost their loves on that horrific day and raise money for two charities: The Leary Firefighters Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project

Please join us as we wish our riders well in this special ceremony

What:           "Ride for 9-11" Bicycle Ride *Send-off Program*

Where:         LAFD Historical Society Museum ("Old Fire Station 27")
                     1355 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028

When:          Sunday, July 24, 2011
                    Opening Remarks/Program: 7:30 am
                    Prompt departure by Riders: 8:15 am

Media Contact:   Jorge Ostrovsky (805) 338-8895 or Mike Ketaily (805) 338-6813


Submitted by Matt Spence,
Spokesman Los Angeles Fire Department

Man Found Dead in Hollywood House Fire

Thursday, July 21, 2011 |

HOLLYWOOD - Sadly a man was found deceased tonight inside a residence that was on fire.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was called at 8:29 PM on Thursday, July 21, 2011 to
739 North Mariposa Avenue in Hollywood, where they found heavy smoke showing from the second story of a single family dwelling.

The first of 44 firefighters initially dispatched to the scene quickly extended hoselines inside the 3,269 square-foot residence, extinguishing the flames in just 16 minutes – only to discover a 69 year-old male. Beyond medical help, he was determined dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The bulk of the flames were in one room on the second story, which was described as "packrat” like conditions. There were no smoke alarms present within the residence. Monetary loss from the blaze in the 98-year old non-fire sprinklered home is estimated at $45,000 ($25,000 structure & $20,000 contents).

A positive identification of the dead man, as well as the precise cause, time and manner of his death, will be determined the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

The cause of the fire remains the focus of a joint investigation by Los Angeles Fire and Police Department Investigators.

Dispatched Units: E52 RA52 E6 RA6 E235 T35 E227 E27 T27 T20 E220 EM14 BC5 BC11 E29 AR2 DC2 AR23 AR17

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

100 Foot Geyser in Residential Neighborhood Displaces Family

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 |

At 6:11 pm this evening, your Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a reported "hydrant" at the residential intersection of North Edloft Avenue and East Twining Street in the neighborhood of El Sereno. First arriving units were guided to the scene by water being shot approximately 100 feet into the air from a high pressure fire hydrant. The hydrant had been sheared-off by a vehicle, whose driver had apparently lost control. The driver was treated and transported to a local hospital for observation.

Mass amounts of water then began to shower surrounding homes and fill the streets. Access to the hydrant shut-off valve was made difficult to Firefighters not only because they had to endure heavy water, but also due to the large, water-main shut-off valve being located deeper underground than what standard tools on our fire apparatus are capable of accessing. This particular hydrant shut-off valve required specialized tools available only to our partners at the Department of Water & Power (DWP).

As water continued to flow for nearly two hours, approximately 50 Firefighters quickly poured on-scene to assist, along with our specialized Urban Search & Rescue unit and our Heavy Rescue squad. The water flow initially prompted the Incident Commander (IC), Battalion Chief Kevin Pearson, to protect the residents of three homes in the area by sheltering them in place. When it became apparent this would be an extended incident, the IC, under the guidance of Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott, made the decision to evacuate these structures to ensure their safety.

When the hydrant was ultimately shut-down, representatives from the Department of Building & Safety quickly moved in to assess and determined the homes had sustained minimal, structural damage. However, a retaining wall at the rear of one of the structures was severely compromised. As a result, one family was unfortunately displaced for at least that evening. The family was assisted by our friends at the local Red Cross.

We are pleased to report there were no additional injuries to any of the families impacted nor to any of our on-scene personnel.

The cause is under investigation and the dollar loss is still being tabulated.

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

90 Years Ago Today: The Final Clip-Clop of Fire Horses in Los Angeles

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 |

LAFD Gorter Water Tower
circa 1910
It was once said by firemen that much could be learned from the reflection in a fire horses' eye. For those who paid close attention in October 1908, it should have been clear that great change was soon ahead for the men - and horses - of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Despite earlier professing love for his "blind in-one-eye maneater" Skidoo, and less than 36 months after drafting specifications for equipping an equine-powered LAFD, Fire Chief Walter Lips took possession of a 1908 Haynes automobile purchased by the city for $3,300.

Yes, the glint in the eye of LAFD fire horses foretold the future of the 23-year old agency, which would two years later - under the command of a new Fire Chief, take delivery of its initial motor fire apparatus, with it's first motor pumping engine arriving a year thereafter.

Los Angeles Fire Department horse-drawn units remained in active service alongside motorized firefighting vehicles for eleven years. The era of the fire horse at LAFD came to a close in 1921, just thirteen years after Chief Lips was first seated in his "large red automobile, guaranteed to cut streaks through the air".

The last movement by fire horse of LAFD apparatus from a fire station took place on July 19, 1921 when the legendary 1905 Gorter Water Tower was moved from Fire Station 24 to the municipal shops to be motorized. Though it was proudly returned to service on October 13, 1921, it was without the familiar and in many ways beloved "clip-clop" of the faithful and bright-eyed fire horses that so proudly served our city.

The thoroughly restored Gorter Water Tower remains available for public viewing at the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum in Hollywood, where docents are pleased to explain the tower's operation and recount the fascinating history of fire horses at the LAFD, including Phil, Bingo and Jim pictured above.

To learn more, we encourage you to view an on-line historical archive, and to visit the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum on-line at:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Window Safety: Nine Ways To Keep Your Promise


Home Escape Planning Includes Windows! Click to learn more...Every day you whisper a promise to your child, "I’ll always keep you safe."

But keeping your home and children safe takes more than a promise. It can only be done with planning and preventive action.

The Los Angeles Fire Department joins the National Safety Council and the National Fire Protection Association in asking you to focus today on window safety:

The danger of falls and fire may be greater than you think!

Preventing falls from windows is as important as learning how to use one in an emergency. Unattended children run the greatest risk of fall and injury, so your best 'first step' is to watch children as they play. Nothing can substitute for careful supervision.

Fire is frightening. All too often, the bodies of young children are found after a fire in places where they tried to hide. Teach your children that they can’t hide from fire: They must escape it!

Decide on at least two emergency escape routes from your home. Windows provide one of the fastest, easiest alternative ways out of a burning residence. Teach children how to safely escape through windows and take time to practice with them.

Every family member should know how to operate the windows used for fire emergencies. Delay in escaping fire can cost lives and increase injury. Often paint, dirt or weathering will seal a window shut. Make sure yours open easily from the inside and are not blocked by furniture or other objects.

Remember also that security bars, grilles and grates not only keep intruders out, they can also lock you in. The same holds true for window guards. Everyone should be able to get out through a window at all times without using tools, keys, special knowledge or significant effort.

When youngsters are around, close and latch your windows. If you need ventilation, only open windows they cannot reach. Be sure to keep furniture - or anything children can climb - away from windows. And teach your children not to play near windows.

And finally, never depend on insect screens to prevent falls. Insect screens are designed only to provide ventilation. They will not support the weight of a child or prevent their fall.

Here are 9 simple ways to protect your loved ones:

  1. Windows provide a secondary means of escape from a burning home. Determine your family's emergency escape plan and practice it. Remember that children may have to rely on a window to escape in a fire. Help them learn to safely use a window under these circumstances.
  2. When performing household repairs, make sure windows are not painted or nailed shut. You must be able to open them to escape in an emergency.
  3. Keep your windows closed and latched when children are around. When opening windows for ventilation, open windows that a child cannot reach.
  4. Set and enforce rules about keeping children's play away from windows or patio doors. Falling through the glass can be fatal or cause serious injury.
  5. Keep furniture — or anything children can climb — away from windows. Children may use such objects as a climbing aid.
  6. If you have young children in your home and are considering installing window guards or window fall prevention devices, be aware that the window guards you install must have a release mechanism so that they can be opened for escape in a fire emergency. Consult your local building code
    officials to determine proper window guard placement.
  7. Some homes have window guards, security bars, grilles or grates covering windows. Those windows can be useless in an emergency if they do not have a functioning release mechanism. Test them today because time is critical when escaping a fire.
  8. Do not install window unit air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape or rescue in an emergency. The air conditioning unit could block or impede escape through the window. Always be sure that you have at least one window in each sleeping and living area that meets escape and rescue requirements.
  9. The degree of injury sustained from a window fall can be affected by the surface on which the victim falls. Shrubs and soft edging like wood chips or grass beneath windows may lessen the impact if a fall does occur.

Can Neighborhood Firefighters count on you?

Along with surveying your home, school and workplace today, please help us by sharing this informative brochure and checklist throughout your community.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

I-405 Closure Update - THANK YOU!

Sunday, July 17, 2011 |

Your Los Angeles Fire Department and the Unified Command Center would like to say-
"Great job, Los Angeles!"  

Thank you for staying out of the closure area and thank you for your help and cooperation in allowing this project to go smoothly and largely, without incident.

The systematic re-opening of the I-405 Freeway has begun. It is expected that the entire Freeway will be fully-opened and accessible by approximately 3:00pm this afternoon.

Your LAFD remains prepared and will maintain its augmented staffing of the affected area until approximately 2:30pm this afternoon. At that time, the LAFD will begin a "demobilization" process that will ultimately put us back at normal staffing and normal, departmental operations by 6:00pm this evening.

A big "thank you" goes to our partners at the Command Post- CHP, LADOT, LAPD and Metro. Also, to the Office of the Mayor and all our local media partners, who played a key role in keeping everyone informed with the most up-to-date information. And, of course, "thank you" to the good people of Kiewet West and the Penhall Company for their efforts in completing this phase of the project well ahead of schedule.

It is to all "Angelinos" and our visiting guests, however, we give "great thanks" for their cooperation throughout.
Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD to Debut Motorcycle Response Teams as Pilot Program During I-405 Closure

Friday, July 15, 2011 |

Starting tonight, July 15, 2011 through July 18, 2011, the North and Southbound I-405 Freeway and the Mulholland Drive overpass in both directions, will be closed for up to 53 continuous hours. This, due to the demolition of the Mulholland Bridge overpass. The closure may cause widespread and heavy traffic congestion through the Sepulveda Pass and outlying neighborhoods. Consequently, these conditions may impact the response of emergency vehicles into those areas and could have the potential to cause delays in providing medical assistance to residents and passersby.
LAFD Motorcycle Response Team
Our continuous efforts to maintain high standards of service and lower response times, challenge us to be both innovative and consistent. To that end, the LAFD has developed a unique response team for these locations, that will make its debut this weekend. Motorcycle Response Teams ("Motor Teams") will be deployed at two different locations (Fire Stations 99 & 109) to enhance our service to these affected areas. 

Riding Kawasaki  KLR 650 motorcycles (kindly on-loan for the weekend from our friends at Kawasaki Motor Corp.), our Firefighter/EMTs will have the ability to more easily move through traffic enroute to an emergency incident. A two-member team (one team = two motorcycles, each with one Firefighter/EMT) will be strategically placed on both the East and West sides of the I-405 freeway. These teams will also patrol their assigned areas, providing up-to-the-minute intelligence on access and egress issues, as well as continuous monitoring of alternate response routes.

Each Motor Team will be equipped with a cache of Basic Life Support (BLS) equipment, to include an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), oxygen, other essential medical equipment and supplies to handle most medical incidents, until additional assistance arrives. As these motorcycles will be patrolling a largely "brush area," they will also be equipped with "saddle bags" to allow for the stowing of a fire shelter and some brush firefighting personal protective equipment. Each "rider" will also have a GPS unit attached to the motorcycle, a radio and Departmental maps.
LAFD Motorcycle Response Team
Upon an emergency or medical incident, the Motor Team will take appropriate action in managing the incident and rendering basic medical care, as necessary. The Teams offer our response, safe and quick maneuverability, flexibility and the opportunity to render continuous care until a patient is transferred to another LAFD resource for transport. These motorcycles are not equipped with lights or sirens and therefore, will respond with caution. The Motor Teams will be deployed during daylight hours only, from 6:00am - 9:00pm on both Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.

It should be noted, this is a "pilot program" only and may or may not be continued, based largely on the success of the program over this weekend. Future use of the "Motor Teams" may include deployment at large scale incidents up to and including earthquakes, brush fires and in times of high hazard, extreme weather conditions.

As is always the case, we welcome your feedback.

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD & I-405 Freeway Closure - Update


By now, most Los Angeles residents (and even some of our visitors) are aware that the Los Angeles County Metro Agency is currently working on a significant project involving the I-405 Freeway. A HOV lane is being added on the northbound I-405 Freeway from the I-10 to the US 101. To accomplish this, the demolition and subsequent reconstruction of the Mulholland Drive Bridge, will require a full freeway closure of both the I-405 Freeway and the Mulholland Drive overpass in both directions for up to 53 continuous hours. This weekend, July 15 through July 18, it is anticipated that traffic may be backed-up as far as 68 miles to the south and 23 miles to the north.

This is what your Los Angeles Fire Department is doing...

Unified Command (incorporating LAFD, CHP, LADOT & LAPD) has been developed to manage all "issues" associated with this freeway closure. The Los Angeles Fire Department is responsible for Fire Suppression and Emergency Medical Services within, what Unified Command is referring to, as an "Operational Area." This will effectively capture all of the impacted areas up and down the I-405 Freeway.

The LAFD has developed a "response plan" to address the potential for increased response times that may result from the I-405 Freeway closure. The LAFD will strategically pre-deploy and also staff, additional resources consisting of trucks, engines and other Fire apparatus to handle all emergencies throughout the Sepulveda pass area. An additional 200 Firefighters will be deployed as follows:

Mountain Gate - 1 Engine, 2 Rescue Ambulance, Brush Patrol.
Bel Air Crest - 1 Engine, 2 Rescue Ambulance, Brush Patrol.
Fire Station 99 - 1 Truck Company, 3 Engine Companies, 2 Rescue Ambulance, 1 Brush Patrol,
1 Motorcycle Recon Team, 1 Water Tender and 1 Battalion Chief.
Fire Station 109 - 1 Truck Company, 3 Engine Companies, 2 Rescue Ambulance, 1 Brush Patrol, 1 Motorcycle Recon Team, 1 Water Tender and 1 Battalion Chief.
Fire Station 59 -  3 Engine Companies and 1 Battalion Chief.
Fire Station 19 - 1 additional Engine Company.
Fire Station 69 - 1 additional Engine Company.
Fire Station 71 - 1 additional Engine Company.
Air Operations - 1 additional Air Ambulance (helicopter).

As always, the LAFD will work in conjunction with with Los Angeles County DHS to ensure the best possible patient care and will closely monitor any transportation issues, as well as hospital availability.

As a reminder, on-ramp and off-ramp closures are scheduled to begin as early as 7pm on Friday, July 15, 2011. Freeway lane closures will begin, one-by-one, starting at 10pm, in order to achieve a "full closure" by midnight, July 16, 2011. The "full-closure" will remain in effect until Monday, July 18, 2011, until approximately 5am, when I-405 is scheduled to re-open. All ramps and connectors are scheduled to be re-opened by 6am.

Want to stay up-to-date during the 53-hour closure of the I-405 freeway?

Click here for detour maps, closure boundaries, and time lapse photography of the demolition.
Click here for real time traffic conditions on the regional alternate freeways.
Click here for updated messages via twitter.

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

Woman Found Dead, Man Injured in Pacoima House Fire

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 |

PACOIMA - A woman was found dead in a quickly extinguished house fire in Pacoima, but not before a passerby who attempted to fight the flames sustained injury.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was called at 3:58 PM on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 to 11666 Bromont Avenue in Pacoima, where they found smoke showing from the front window of one story home that neighbors describe as being recently vacated.

The first of thirty-four firefighters dispatched to the scene extended a hoseline into a front room of the 1,158 square-foot building, extinguishing the fire in moments - only to discover a severely burned adult female. Beyond medical help, she was declared dead at the scene.


LAFD Paramedics then turned their attention to the on-site treatment of an adult male, believed to have been a passerby, who sustained a cut to his hand when he broke a window in an unsuccessful attempt to use a garden hose in battling the flames. No other injuries were reported.

The presence or functional status of smoke alarms within the residence could not be immediately ascertained. Monetary loss from the blaze, which caused minimal damage to the 47-year old non-fire sprinklered home, is still being tabulated.

A positive identification of the dead woman, as well as the precise cause, time and manner of her death, will be determined the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

The cause of the fire remains the focus of a joint investigation by Los Angeles Fire and Police Department Investigators.

Dispatched Units: E298 E98 T98 RA898 RA98 E91 E7 EM15 BC12 E77 AR2 AR9 AR11

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Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

The Los Angeles Fire Department Gears Up For The I-405 Closure

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 |

Stuck in TrafficThe Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) has been working diligently in conjunction with the LAPD, CHP, DOT and METRO, as well as other City agencies in preparation for the July 16 through July 17 weekend I-405 closure. Because the I-405 freeway is one of the busiest in the Nation, with more than 500,000 cars travelling through the Sepulveda Pass on a weekend basis, we are asking everyone who does not need to be in the local area of the closure of the I-405 between the U.S. 101 and the I-10, to please stay away from the area, plan ahead, or just stay home and enjoy their own local community.

In order to continue to provide a high level of service efficiently and effectively, the LAFD will be augmenting its normal daily staffing levels of firefighters and paramedics by an additional 200 members. This will enable the LAFD to continue to respond in a timely manner to all 911 calls within and around the affected area during the I-405 closure. Also, there will be an additional 15 fire engines and 6 ambulances that will be staged at Fire Stations 109, 99 and 59. Throughout the affected weekend, there will also be brush patrol units continuously patrolling the hillside areas within the vicinity of the closure.

Neighborhood support has also been offered by the Getty Center and the Skirball Cultural Center, which have made both sites available for staging and operational areas as needed by the LAFD.

In addition, evacuation routes have been identified around the affected area in the event of a major emergency.

Once again, the LAFD would like to remind everyone to please evaluate your necessary travel needs over this weekend and please stay out of the affected area if at all possible.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Bring South Boyle Heights Fire Quickly Under Control

Monday, July 11, 2011 |

LOS ANGELES - An electrical issue is believed to have sparked a swift-moving building fire in the South Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.

Ninety-two Los Angeles Firefighters were dispatched on Monday, July 11, 2011, following a 12:58 PM phone call from a passerby describing a structure fire at 649 South Anderson Street in an industrial neighborhood a mile-and-a-half southeast of the Los Angeles Civic Center.

LAFD crews arrived quickly to find smoke showing from a well secured 50' x 100' one-story warehouse-like building. Forcing entry through rolling steel doors as chainsaw wielding colleagues ventilated heat and smoke from above, firefighters had the flames under control in just 24 minutes. No injuries were reported.

Los Angeles Police Officers joined LAFD Investigators in further researching the fire and seeking the tenant, for what was declared an accidental fire of an electrical nature. A fire damage estimate was not immediately available.

Dispatched Units: E17 RA616 E202 E2 T2 RA2 E25 E4 T9 EM2 BC1 BC11 E9 E203 E3 T3 E233 T33 E210 T10 E10 E14 SQ21 DC2 EM6 BC13 RA3 UR88 BC5 AR1

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Announces the Appointment of Interim Fire Chief Brian Cummings

Thursday, July 07, 2011 |

The Mayor of Los Angeles announced today, the appointment of Assistant Chief Brian L. Cummings to the position of Interim Fire Chief, effective Monday, July 11, 2011.

Chief Brian Cummings
Interim Fire Chief Brian Cummings
Chief Cummings, a 31 year veteran of the Department who currently holds the position of Chief of Staff, expressed his intent to maintain the high level of service performed by members of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed as the Interim Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department,” said Cummings. “I thank the hardworking, talented men and women of the Department - the sworn, civilian and volunteer personnel that make this organization great. I thank the Mayor for his confidence in me and for his commitment to public safety. I also thank the City Council for their commitment to prioritizing any increases in City revenue and directing them back to this Department to expand resources. Finally, I want to thank the Fire Commission for their continued guidance and partnership.

I can assure residents of Los Angeles that the LAFD will continue to deliver the high level of service to which they are accustomed, and that we are proud to provide.

I look forward to leading the Los Angeles Fire Department in accomplishing our mission of protecting lives and property and fostering economic growth.

As your Interim Fire Chief, I will work with City government in our efforts to position this Department for future success.”

The Mayor’s Office has begun the selection process for the City of Los Angeles' next Fire Chief. The Los Angeles Fire Department's Public Information Officer will be handling questions regarding that process.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

L.A. Firework Injury Places Girl's Eyesight at Risk

Monday, July 04, 2011 |

SOUTH LOS ANGELES - Doctors in Los Angeles were striving late Monday to save a girl's eyesight following a horrific injury caused by an illegal firework during a private Independence Day celebration.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 10:52 P.M. on Monday, July 4, 2011 to 617 West 42nd Place in South Los Angeles, where they encountered a 12 year-old girl with severe eye damage.

According to witnesses, the girl had been in front of a home using a sparkler - also illegal in Los Angeles, when another person discharged an illegal 'firecracker-like' device near her face, impaling her right eye.

A team of six LAFD crew members worked in unison to stabilize the injury while providing emotional care to the patient and her family, then quickly transported the girl to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, where a team of experts awaited to provide her care.

Los Angeles Police Officers will investigate circumstances of the injury. The personal use of any firework, including so-called "safe and sane" devices has been illegal in the City of Los Angeles since World War II.

Dispatched Units: E14 RA833 RA15

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Illegal Fireworks Suspected Following Chatsworth Blaze


CHATSWORTH - A grass fire on Independence Day in the northwest San Fernando Valley reported to have injured one or more persons, may have been sparked by illegal fireworks.

Fifty-five Los Angeles Fire Department personnel - including four LAFD helicopters, were summoned at 9:32 P.M. on Monday, July 4, 2011, to 10619 Andora Avenue in Chatsworth, where residents reported a grass fire at nearby Stoney Point, an iconic landmark and municipal park popular with hikers and revered by climbing enthusiasts.

According to witnesses, a thunderous explosion occurred before fire erupted near the site's massive outcroppings. Arriving quickly by ground and air, Los Angeles Firefighters hiked up steep and winding trails in the darkness to confine the wildfire, as LAFD helicopters flanked the blaze that scorched less than a half-acre of tinder-dry brush in the 43 minutes it took to fully extinguish the flames.

Despite an exhaustive search of rugged terrain across the 76-acre site nestled between the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains, firefighters were unable to find one or more persons that a witness said were burned in the fire. In seeking the those injured, firefighters discovered and took custody of a large cache of fireworks found atop the towering cliffs.

The specific cause of the blaze remains part of an active investigation by Los Angeles Police and Fire Department Investigators. Those with information about the event are asked to call the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section at (213) 485-6095.

Dispatched Units: E107 E296 E87 T96 BC14 E496 BC15 E72 H4 H6 H1 H3 E106 E104 E103 BP8 AR2 RP88

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Augments Staff For Busy July 4th Weekend

Sunday, July 03, 2011 |

With hot weather continuing this Independence Day Weekend in Southern California, the Los Angeles Fire Department will be supplementing the number of on-duty firefighters to respond to an increase in service demand this holiday weekend.

LAFD forms Strike Team in July 2009On both Sunday, July 3, and Monday, July 4, 2011, the LAFD will strategically deploy seventeen additional Engine Companies, eight Brush Patrol units and five Rescue Ambulances across the City of Los Angeles, including communities in and near Griffith Park, Pacific Palisades, El Sereno, Sunland-Tujunga, Chatsworth and Woodland Hills.

Additionally, the LAFD will deploy Bike Medic Teams at Los Angeles International Airport as well as Cabrillo Beach, to address an anticipated surge in airport patrons and beach visitors.

While the Los Angeles Fire Department remains committed to providing the highest quality of service possible during times of extreme need, you can help us greatly through personal efforts of fire prevention and life safety - because danger never takes a holiday!

Personal fireworks remain illegal in Los Angeles, so make plans now to join us at a public fireworks display near you!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Safe, Affordable and Now...The Law!

Friday, July 01, 2011 |

That's right, the Los Angeles Fire Department has often warned of the dangers of "the silent killer", Carbon Monoxide (CO).

Now, we are here to tell you that as of July 1, 2011, the State of California requires Carbon Monoxide detectors in most single family homes - and soon in every residence. This new law is to be enforced by the City of Los Angeles, Housing Department.

Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in America, claiming more than 400 lives each year. CO is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that can lead to brain damage and even death. CO is produced whenever fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned - and can be produced by common household appliances. Sources of CO poisoning can include:

· Gas water heaters
· Home heating systems
· Kerosene space heaters
· Grills, hibachis or portable gas camp stoves
· Idling motor vehicles
· Cigarette smoke
· Propane-fueled forklifts
· Gas-powered concrete saws
· Indoor tractor pulls
· Swimming behind a motorboat
· Spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers
· Portable Generators

It is not uncommon for your firefighters to respond to accidents that involve CO poisoning during the winter months, as people often burn various fuels and use appliances as a source of heat. However, we often respond to these accidents during the summer months as well.

There is some good news...these accidents are preventable. Please take the necessary steps to ensure proper ventilation around any appliance that may generate this toxic gas, use a little common sense and get your CO detectors today. Remember, once installed, these alarms should be tested monthly, just as with your (already installed) smoke alarms. It is important to note, these do not replace your traditional smoke alarms! There are, however, some units available that will serve a dual function and provide protection against both.

Carbon Monoxide detectors are affordable, widely available at most home improvement/hardware stores and now... in California they are required by law!

For more information and some helpful tips on preventing the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, read a previous post on our blog: "Carbon Monoxide, the 'Silent Killer".

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department