Severe Collision on Freeway Causes Fire, Claims a Life

Saturday, August 27, 2011 |

HIGHLAND PARK - Despite the Friday evening, rush-hour traffic, LAFD resources swiftly responded to what was first termed a "traffic collision" on the freeway. After having received multiple calls, dispatchers quickly upgraded the incident to a "physical rescue." However, the first arriving units encountered something much worse.

After one car apparently stalled on the southbound side of the Pasadena Freeway near York Boulevard, a sport utility vehicle, having not enough time to react to the disabled vehicle, violently rammed into its rear-end, causing the stalled auto to burst into flames. There were two passengers onboard the fully engulfed vehicle and despite the extreme efforts by nearly 40 LAFD Firefighters and Paramedics on-scene, one of the passengers succumbed to injuries and sadly, was pronounced deceased.

Resources from the South Pasadena Fire Department joined with the LAFD on the freeway incident and helped treat and transport four other patients, including the driver of the burnt-out vehicle. All were taken via rescue-ambulance in fair condition to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. At least one patient sustained minor burns, in a clear attempt to assist the poor soul that perished in the vehicle fire.

This fatality collision is currently under active investigation.

E55 E212 T12 RA12 RA55 E250 T50 E12 E47 HR56 EM11 BC2 E44 AR1 RA844 RA209

Submitted by Matt Spence
Spokesman, Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Motorcyclists Begin Cross Country 9-11 Trek

Thursday, August 25, 2011 |

LAFD Firehogs Commence Journey to New York
LAFD Fire Hogs at
Los Angeles
WTC Memorial
As Los Angeles Firefighters continue independent and team bicycle journeys across our nation to commemorate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; they are joined by the LAFD Fire Hogs, a group of retired and active-duty firefighters, who this morning departed the Los Angeles World Trade Center Memorial by motorcycle enroute to Manhattan.

While we remain with them in spirit, it is not possible for us all to be in New York, Pennsylvania or Washington on the anniversary of that dark day.

We therefore ask you to save the date and plan to join us for a formal ceremony in Los Angeles, commemorating our collective loss and affirming our personal resolve:

Sunday, September 11, 2011
Ceremony: 9:00AM - 10:00AM 
Public Reception: Immediately following

1700 Stadium Way, Los Angeles, CA  90012

All are invited and warmly welcomed to attend
this free ritual-filled patriotic event

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

SoCal Firefighters Bristle at Carbon Monoxide Detector Solicitations


The Los Angeles City and County Fire Departments have been made aware of a possible scam by a private company offering the sale of "approved" Carbon Monoxide detectors for a fee of $126.00 - "or face fines or penalties per California Senate Bill 183 (SB183)".

While SB 183 does mandate the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in California single family homes, no Federal, State or local government agency (including Fire, Law Enforcement or Health) are soliciting the purchase of carbon monoxide detectors. Consumers should investigate all mail and in-person solicitations and respond cautiously.

The Los Angeles City and County Fire Departments fully support SB 183 and recommend that all residents install carbon monoxide detectors as required by law.

Your Fire Department urges you to take the necessary steps to ensure proper ventilation around any appliance that may generate this toxic gas, and purchase your CO detectors at any home improvement center or large retail outlets for approximately $20. 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.

For more information and some helpful tips on the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, please visit or to read the recent post on our blog:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Remembers Duke: Beloved Canine Responder Dies Month Prior to 9-11 Anniversary

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 |

From our friends at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation...

Duke, a male Chocolate Lab, was born on August 22, 1997. Purchased by Doris and Larry Bilderback of Salinas as a hunting dog, Duke demonstrated very early on that he had other aspirations... he knew he was much better suited to the life of a Search Dog. That's when they decided to contact the Search Dog Foundation (SDF).

Evaluated as a potential Search Dog, Duke passed the tests with ease. He was soon brought to the home of Debra Tosch, SDF's Executive Director, in Ojai, California where he lived for two months. Debra prepared him for his official training program at Sundowners Kennel, the facility in Gilroy, California where all SDF dogs train.

Duke was paired with his handler Howard Orr, a firefighter with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, in 1999 - where he found a real home and they became a valuable team. Duke and Howard were loyal partners on the job and formed a strong bond through their continual training schedule. This schedule meant they trained every week with the other canines and handlers in their SDF Training Group. They worked continuously on search and rescue skills, maintaining top form so they would be ready for deployment at a moment’s notice. They also achieved Advanced Certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), making them able to respond across the nation as a Canine Disaster Search Team.

Howard Orr and Duke
As part of the Los Angeles Fire Department's FEMA Task Force (CA-TF1), Howard & Duke responded to numerous deployments during their 9-year career, including the La Conchita mudslide in January 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September 2005, the Paso Robles Earthquake of 2003, the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002, and their very first deployment at the Echo Park Building Collapse in 2000. However, out of all the deployments they responded to, the one they are most recognized for is their response to Ground Zero in the days following the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

After many years of searching, Duke retired to spend time with Howard and his family at home in Thousand Oaks, CA. He still loved his toys and an easy search every now and then, but certainly enjoyed his retirement.

After struggling for months with several health issues, Duke crossed the Rainbow Bridge on August 8, 2011, with Howard by his side. As one of the founding teams in the Southern California area, Howard & Duke helped form the solid foundation that many of our current Search Teams have relied on when first beginning their journeys as disaster search canine handlers. Duke will be greatly missed by those that knew and worked with him as well as those that may never have met this great dog but admired his work from afar. Duke’s pawprints will be big ones to fill and we will all miss him immensely.

# # #

To learn more about these amazing search dogs and their handlers, please visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Mourn Former Vernon Fire Chief

Friday, August 19, 2011 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department join generations of firefighters in mourning the loss of retired Vernon Fire Chief and fire service historian George "Smokey" Bass.

George "Smokey" Bass
1931 - 2011
George Francis Bass (February 17, 1931 - August 13, 2011) was born in Los Angeles, the only child of Mary Francis Connelly and James Bass. He was an avid fire buff and earned the name "Smokey" in his early years as he followed fire engines to fires and often smelled of smoke.

He joined the Vernon Fire Department in 1953 and was active for thirty-five years, progressing through the ranks. The last ten years he served as that city's Fire Chief and Fire Marshal.

Smokey was passionate about the preservation and appreciation of fire service history, especially in Los Angeles. He was a founding member of The Box 15 Club of Los Angeles.

We invite you to join us in remembering George "Smokey" Bass...

Funeral Mass:

Saturday, August 20, 2011
10:00 AM
St. Cyprian Catholic Church
4714 Clark Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90808

In lieu of flowers, the family has kindly requested donations be made to:

Parents Against Cancer, Inc.
P.O. Box 90213
Long Beach, CA 90809-2644.

You may also express condolence to his family and friends via a special on-line guest book.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Teens Rescued From Rocky Chatsworth Cliff by Los Angeles Firefighters

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 |

CHATSWORTH - A pair of teenagers were safely removed from a perilous cliff in the northwest San Fernando Valley in a nearly two-hour effort by Los Angeles Firefighters.

Sixty-eight Los Angeles Fire Department personnel - including two LAFD helicopters and an Urban Search and Rescue Team, were summoned at 6:58 P.M. on Tuesday August 16, 2011, to 10870 North Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Chatsworth, where witnesses reported a pair of teen males stranded on a cliff at Stoney Point, a municipal park popular with hikers and revered by climbing enthusiasts.

The local teens, both 18 years-old, reportedly separated from a group of friends in the rugged terrain, choosing a hillside path that led them to be trapped at dusk in a narrow and rocky recess more than 200 feet above the ground, making a helicopter-based rescue difficult.

Arriving quickly by ground and air, Los Angeles Firefighters hiked up steep and winding trails at sunset as an LAFD command helicopter lit their way to the top of the mountain with a 30 million candlepower spotlight. A second LAFD air ambulance helicopter, configured for hoist operations hovered nearby; as one of the first-arriving firefighters rappelled 50 feet down the sheer cliff to assess and prepare the young men both physically and mentally for rescue.

Confirming the teens to be uninjured - and explaining what lied ahead, the first firefighter was soon joined by a member of LAFD's Urban Search and Rescue unit, who separately placed each boy in a harness for the accompanied descent down the cliff, where the young men were reunited safely with friends and a parent.

(video) (video)
Dispatched Units: E296 T96 RH114 E107 RA107 H0C H0E UR88 HR56 EM17 BC15 BC17 E89 T27 E227 E70 H1 H6 E27 UR27 T88 E288 E88 EM15 RA70 EL72 E72 E90
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

The 'Ride for 9-11' Makes an Emotional Detour to Meet the People of Joplin


We've written proudly in recent weeks about a small cadre of firefighters on a nationwide bicycle trek to commemorate the September 11, 2001 attacks on our nation.

Since beginning their journey in Los Angeles on July 24, these participants in the Ride For 9-11 have been unfazed by rain, triple-digit heat and hail, adhering strictly to a daunting schedule and course that will bring them to New York City in time for the tenth anniversary of that dark day.

With focus, pride and perseverance, they have kept on-course, until today...

Joplin, Missouri was not one of the group's original stops - but in the words of rider Jim Prabhu, an LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic:

"We've made a stop here in Joplin, Missouri in light of what happened here several months ago. We wanted to make sure that we paid our respect and saw it first hand, what exactly occurred."

We thank Jim and all participants in the Ride For 9-11, not only for their charitable effort in raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project and the Dennis Leary Firefighter Foundation, but also for serving as emissaries of Los Angeles and the Fire Service in extending sympathies to the people of Joplin.

To learn more, donate or follow the progress of the Ride For 9-11, please visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

To Catch an Arsonist: LAFD Senior Arson Investigator David Liske

Monday, August 15, 2011 |

David Liske, the Los Angeles Fire Department's Senior Arson Investigator speaks with NBC LA's Colleen Williams on Nonstop News LA about what it takes to catch an arsonist, specifically the man now facing twenty counts of felony arson in a series of recent North Hollywood blazes.


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Near-Drowning of San Fernando Valley Siblings Highlights Water Danger

Sunday, August 14, 2011 |

GRANADA HILLS - Two young children are fighting for survival at a Mission Hills hospital after nearly-drowning in the backyard pool of their Knollwood area home in the north San Fernando Valley.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 4:42PM on Sunday, August 14, 2011 to 12055 Susan Drive in Granada Hills, where they found the lifeless body of a 2 1/2 year-old boy and his barely breathing triplet sister, who had moments earlier been rescued by their mother from the family's swimming pool.

According to witnesses, the mother had left the boy and girl playing together in a room within the large two-story residence, as she went to check on the third triplet and 7 year old sibling in another part of the home.

After an unspecified period, the mother returned to seek the boy and girl and determined them missing. A brief search of the premises led her to the swimming pool, where she discovered and rescued the submersed pair.

Two teams of LAFD Paramedics worked exhaustively and at the pinnacle of their skill to resuscitate the children. In the few minutes it took to arrive by ambulance at nearby Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, the responders had improved the girl's condition and restored the boy's pulse - giving them a fighting chance of survival, though both remained in critical condition.

With a focus on drowning prevention, the Los Angeles Fire Department was quick to stress the importance of its Pool Safely campaign, while highlighting the effectiveness of bystander poolside CPR that recently saved the life of another San Fernando Valley child.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Seven Years Ago Today: Remembering Firefighter Jaime Foster


Kindly join members of the Los Angeles Fire Department today in remembering Fallen Firefighter Jaime L. Foster, who became the first probationary member and first woman to die in the line-of-duty at the Los Angeles Fire Department, following a tragic accident on August 14, 2004.

Fallen Los Angeles Firefighter Jaime L. Foster. Click to learn more...
Fallen Los Angeles Firefighter Jaime L. Foster
Learn more about Jaime and other LAFD members who have paid the ultimate price in their service to the City by visiting:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

46 Years Ago Today: Los Angeles Firefighter Dies in Watts Riots


Kindly join members of the Los Angeles Fire Department today in remembering Fallen Fireman Warren E. Tilson, killed when the wall of a fire-weakened structure fell on him in the early morning hours of August 14, 1965 during the Watts Riots.

Fallen LAFD Fireman Warren E. Tillis, click to learn more...

The blaze at 120th Street and Central Avenue was one of hundreds of fires set during the riots on the night of August 13. Tilson was survived by his wife Carole, who was expecting their child the following month.

Learn more about Warren, his injured colleage Robert L. Laxague and the amazing courage of Los Angeles Firemen to rescue them both at the height of riotous arson, by visiting:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Small Explosion Results in 20 Displaced Residents

Thursday, August 11, 2011 |

Approximately 20 people, in the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles, have been displaced from their apartments tonight, as a result of a stubborn fire that may have been prevented. A small explosion reportedly precipitated the fire that started, in what is being called a "utility-storage room."

It was late this afternoon, at 5:27 pm, that residents of 2505 North Hancock Street reported hearing the loud boom and then, smoke alarms. First arriving resources quickly evacuated the entire complex and then discovered the fire on the second floor of the two-story, un-sprinklered apartment building. It took 87 Firefighters, under the careful direction of Battalion Chief Rudy Hill, nearly 30 minutes to fully extinguish the pesky blaze and when it was all over, the water and smoke damage left the 26-unit apartment complex largely, uninhabitable.

The LAFD's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section was called-out to handle the investigation. After meticulously processing the scene, the probable cause was determined to have been an unspecified type and quantity of a combustible liquid, that had been kept in storage directly adjacent to a hot-water heater in that utility room. What resulted, was a fire that charged the hallways with enough smoke to warrant the cutting of several ventilation holes in the roof of the complex. This operation made the conditions tenable for both the residents that were fleeing the building, as well as the Firefighters below, who worked to confine the fire to just one room.

One LAFD member was hospitalized after falling down a flight of concrete steps in the smoke-filled complex. The Firefighter was transported in fair condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

The Department of Water and Power and the Southern California Gas Company were dispatched to the scene to assist and evaluate issues that were reported with both utilities, as a result of the sustained damage. Local Red Cross was also requested and will assist the displaced occupants with shelter for the evening.

The investigation is ongoing and the dollar loss has not yet been calculated.

E201 T1 RA1 E44 RA844 E16 E202 T2 E212 T12 SQ21 EM2 BC1 BC2 E9 E4 E250 T50 E12 DC2 EM11 BC11 T3 E203 E3 UR3 RA803 UR88 BC5 RA2 RA12 EM9 AR1

Submitted by Matt Spence
Spokesman Los Angeles Fire Department

'Thunderous Explosion' in Sylmar Sends Three Men to Hospital

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 |

SYLMAR - A "thunderous explosion" that ripped the roof from a Sylmar business and sent three men to the hospital, remains under investigation by local and State authorities.

A flurry of 9-1-1 calls reporting the explosion commenced at 4:20PM on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, bringing dozens of Los Angeles Fire Department personnel to a normally quiet foothill industrial park at 12349 Gladstone Avenue in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Arriving quickly, firefighters found missing doors, buckled masonry walls, widely scattered debris and large portions of the roof blown over the parapets of a 50' x 150' section of a 7,400 square-foot one-and-two story building. There was however, no evidence of fire. With paper debris still floating in the air, LAFD crews developed a perimeter for bystander exclusion as they established a command post uphill and upwind of the incident.

Swiftly surveying the scene, firefighters quickly came to the aid of two critically injured men who had apparently been blown from the cinder-block building by the force of the explosion. With early reports of additional victims, an unknown cause - and others who may have been missing, neighborhood firefighters were soon joined by more than one hundred colleagues, including LAFD Hazardous Material and Urban Search & Rescue experts, in a detailed search for the cause and effect of the blast, which was heard and felt over a one-mile area.

The two badly injured men were rushed to trauma centers by LAFD Paramedics, as a methodical examination of the premises found no trapped or missing persons. More than 15 minutes after the search concluded, a man walked up to the command post seeking medical care for unspecified injury from the blast. He was taken in good condition by LAFD ambulance to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

An estimate of monetary loss to the heavily damaged business, described only as an "alternative fuel and green energy firm", was still being tabulated early Wednesday.

Though the enterprise reportedly used pressure vessels and was involved in the "extraction of hydrogen from water", the specific cause of the explosion remains under active investigation by the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section and Cal/OSHA officials.

Dispatched Units: E98 RA898 RA98 E91 E275 T75 E24 E287 T87 BC12 E77 T98 E298 RA91 RA7 RA77 RA87 EM15 EM14 EM17 BC15 BC10 UR89 E89 T89 E289 UR88 E88 T88 E288 RA889 DC3 E87 SQ87 AR2 AR23 RA75 E39 EL83 AR3 AR10 BC10 EM15


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Two Firefighters Injured in South Los Angeles Blaze

Monday, August 08, 2011 |

SOUTH LOS ANGELES - Two firefighters were injured battling a major emergency structure fire in a South Los Angeles business on Sunday, August 7, 2011.

Two Firefighters Injured Battling South Los Angeles Blaze. © Photo by Mike Meadows, click to see more...As firefighters were responding to the 6:30 PM alarm, a large "loom up" of dark smoke could be seen from blocks away.

Firefighters arrived at 121 West Florence Avenue where they found a row of one-story commercial buildings under a common roof with heavy smoke showing. Shortly thereafter, flames erupted outside the structure and careful attention was given to protecting attached and nearby businesses from flame impingement. Firefighters were strategically placed around the large structure as others forced entry inside to do battle with the intense flames.

Multiple ladders were rapidly tilted against the structure from all angles allowing firefighters assigned to truck companies to reach the roof and begin vertical ventilation using chainsaws. Moderate amount of smoke began pouring out of the holes as the chainsaws sunk in and continued to cut. Firefighters inside searched through the dark to reach the seat of the fire. As the fire ripped through the attic, a portion of the roof collapsed on one side, preventing firefighters to continue to make entry from that area.

Two Firefighters Injured Battling South Los Angeles Blaze. © Photo by Chris Conkle, click to see more...Firefighters raced the clock as they worked intensely to stop the spread of the flames and save the adjoining businesses along with their contents.

The fire appeared to have started in southwest side of the commercial building and ran up to the attic where it quickly traveled northeast. A total of four businesses, selling furniture, carpet, mattresses and cabinets were damaged. Shortly thereafter the smoke began to lighten as firefighters started to gain the upper hand, then worked on saving the contents of the business. Due to the aggressive work, an offensive attack was used and there was no need to pull firefighters out into a defensive mode.

The building created additional challenges to firefighters due to having an unusual double roof on the northeast side described as an arch truss with 1x6 straight sheeting below, and a corrugated metal roof approximately six feet above.

Two Firefighters Injured Battling South Los Angeles Blaze. © Photo by Chris Conkle, click to see more...A total of 166 Los Angeles Firefighters were able to fully extinguish the flames in just 43 minutes by confining the blaze to the building of origin. An additional 40 personnel were summoned to assist in a complete overhaul of the burned premises during the nearly sixteen hour operation.

One firefighter received second degree burns to his hands and another firefighter was taken ill during overhaul operations. Both men were transported to local hospitals where they were treated and released to remain off-duty.

An initial estimate for fire loss was placed at $1,000,000 ($600,000 structure & $400,000 contents). The cause of the fire remains under active investigation.

Dispatched Units: E233 E33 T33 RA33 RA833 E57 E64 T64 E264 SQ21 EM2 BC13 BC1 E9 E221 T21 E46 E66 E14 E215 T15 E210 T10 DC2 EM9 BC18 T3 E203 E3 RA5 UR88 BC4 E21 T66 E266 RA3 UR3 RM2 EM6 RT40 E210 T10 E65 E26 T9 AR1 EA1 RA848 RA57 RA264 EM9 E85 UR85 RA85 T85 E285 E94 E295 T95 E29 T26 E226 E63 T94 E294 E5 T61 E261 T33 E233 E95

(slideshow) (video)

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

L.A.'s 'Hard Summer Music Festival' Sends Sixteen to Hospital

Sunday, August 07, 2011 |

LOS ANGELES - A total of thirty-one persons required medical attention during an overnight music festival near Chinatown.

Hard Summer Music Festival 2010 by Caesar Sebastian. Used under Creative Commons License via Flickr. Click to learn more...
Image of 2010 HARD Summer Music Festival
by Caesar Sebastian
The Saturday, August 6, 2011 HARD Summer Music Festival, advertised more than twenty-five acts appearing on a quartet of stages between 6:00PM and 2:00AM at the Los Angeles State Historic Park, a mile northeast of the Los Angeles Civic Center.

More than two-dozen Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, including LAFD Bicycle Medic Teams were strategically deployed across the 32 acre site for more than ten hours, allowing quick and effective response to the thirty-one persons needing emergency medical services, sixteen of whom were taken to area hospitals by ambulance. Details regarding the age, gender, condition, affiliation and circumstances of those who suffered illness or injury was not immediately available.

The Fire Department did not formally estimate festival attendance, and is not aware of any pre-hospital loss of life at or near the venue.

LAFD Battalion Chief Michael Bowman was quick to credit months of pre-event planning and the Unified Command of local, regional and State officials onsite. He acknowledged the importance of private sector involvement, including that of event organizers, and offered special praise for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which established a special schedule for Metro subway and light rail lines to serve festival attendees.

The Los Angeles Fire Department has already commenced planning for a future event by organizers of Saturday's festival, the HARD Haunted Mansion, which is scheduled for October 28-29, 2011 at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall south of downtown Los Angeles.

Dispatched Units: CT1 CT2 EM720 RA3 RA9 RA2 EM2 EM722 BC739 RA10 RA20 RA2 RA9

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Accident Involving Transport Van Sends Senior Passengers to Hospital

Thursday, August 04, 2011 |

At approximately 9:00 am this morning, on the 6600 block of North Wilbur Avenue in Reseda, a passenger van from the Genesis Adult Day Health Care Facility was involved in a traffic collision with a single passenger auto. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, but several of the passengers, all of which were seniors (ages ranging 65 - 80 years old) had various complaints of minor aches and pains.

When approximately 50 LAFD Firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Jeffery Mottram, had finished processing the scene, this mid-morning collision had produced a total of 15 patients. Eight of those patients were treated and transported to local hospitals for further evaluation. Seven others were treated and released at the scene. The driver of the other involved auto was one of those transported in fair condition with minor injuries.

Battalion Chief Ray Gomez was in charge of the medical component of this incident, where at one point, he managed 10 rescue ambulances that had been ordered, anticipating both a large number of patients and extensive injuries. Fortunately, not all resources were needed.

The damage to the involved vehicles was still being assessed and the cause of the accident is under investigation.

Dispatched Units: E273 T73 E93 RA93 RA909 E293 T93 E100 RA100 E104 RA104 RA84 RA72 RA105 RA906 RA818 RA898 EM17 EM15 EM14 BC10 DC3


Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Arrest Made in Connection with North Hollywood Arson Fires

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 |

NORTH HOLLYWOOD - An arrest was made yesterday August 2nd, of an arson suspect in connection with the recent string of fires in the North Hollywood area.

The investigation was lead by the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section, and assisted by LAPD's Major Crimes Division & North Hollywood Division, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

The intense investigation began after arson was suspected at an early morning structure fire on July 17th, at the 7000 block of Hinds Avenue. Over the past 17 days an approximate 20 fires, including vehicles, rubbish and structures, around the Lankershim Boulevard corridor area between Burbank Boulevard and Saticoy Street are being closely examined.

Investigators worked around the clock following leads from citizens, interviewing observers, and performing nightly patrols, to gain valuable clues. Countless hours were spent analyzing minute by minute video footage, narrowing down their search. All leads were thoroughly disseminated, and investigators began closing in.

In the early hours of August 2nd, two vehicles were set on fire, one at the 7300 block of Farmdale Avenue and the other at the 7500 block of Troost Avenue, leading to the arrest of a suspected arsonist that may be linked to the multitude of fires. Thanks to the tireless work of Investigators, 34 year-old Kurt Billie of North Hollywood, was taken into custody without incident. He has been booked at LAPD Van Nuys Division.

The Los Angeles Fire Department would like to praise citizens for remaining alert and reporting all suspicious activity.

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

(Photos by Harry Garvin)