Hollywood Area Arson Fires

Friday, December 30, 2011 |

HOLLYWOOD Area- Two persons were arrested in the Hollywood area in unrelated arson incidents where four fires and one attempted fire occurred.

The first arrest involved a suspect who is responsible for three arson fires and one attempted arson fire. The incidents occurred on December 29, 2011 between the hours of 1:12 AM and 1:28 AM and are as follows:

At 1:12 AM, a dumpster fire occurred at 1444 Poinsettia Place, and a carport fire at 1434 Fuller Avenue where four vehicles and an apartment above were damaged. Then, at 1:28 AM, fire was set to a trash can in a parking lot and an attempted arson to personal property at 7040 Sunset Boulevard.

As information was developed by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Arson Investigators, it was determined that this suspect was, in fact, responsible for the first two incidents. The arrested is 22 year-old Sun Valley resident Samual Arrington.

LAFD Battles Arson Fires in Hollywood AreaThe second arrest occurred as a result of a rubbish fire at 1347 McCadden Place, at 4:29 AM. There, 55 year-old Alejandro Pineda was arrested for burning trash. LAPD assisted Arson Investigators by transporting and booking the suspect while LAFD Investigators completed their scene examination. The suspect was booked on a charge of Arson of Property and bail is set at $50,000.

Since then, 21 fires (17 in the City and four in the County), involving various intentionally set automobile and structure fires created a conservative estimate of $350,000 in property damage. These fires occurred in the densely populated (approximately 20,000 people per square mile) Hollywood area and required firefighters to work tirelessly through a long and busy night. Due to the outstanding and diligent work of Los Angeles Firefighters, no civilians were injured and no structures were a total loss. However, one firefighter sustained a non-life-threatening injury while performing firefighting operations and was transported to a local hospital in fair condition. He has since has been released.

LAFD Battles Arson Fires in Hollywood Area
The LAFD is very concerned about these dangerous fires that could of resulted in deaths and are working closely with, Los Angeles Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol - Tobacco - Firearms and Explosives (ATF), LA County Sheriff's, Los Angeles County Fire Department, along with Beverly Hills Fire Department as a cohesive team.

LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section called in several additional investigators, all of whom continue to work around the clock and are currently reviewing video footage, mapping out and sequencing the fire incidents, interviewing witnesses and repeatedly canvasing the ashes during this active investigation.

We are asking the public to assist. Remain vigilant and "If you see something, say something". If you have any information that may assist in this active investigation, or if you witness any suspicious activity please call LAFD at (213) 893-9800, or LAPD at (213) 972-2971. If you witness someone actively committing a crime call 9-1-1.

A $60,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist. City Council is offering $25,000, The County of Los Angeles is offering $25,000 and ATF is offering $10,000 reward.

UPDATE: The LAFD had 13 fires this morning (12/31) that met our area of concern. This area of concern involves vehicle fires and fires involving vehicles in structures. Ten of these fires were located in the North Hollywood area and the last three were located in the Faifax District. The Los Angeles County Fire Department has reported one fire meeting this criteria in the Lennox area.

(Recent Past Arson Arrests)

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Tujunga Man Found Dead Among Towering Debris After Fire


TUJUNGA - The remains of an elderly man who lived alone among a massive collection of debris, were found Thursday; following a days-long search by Los Angeles Fire Department crews who had extinguished a fire there early Christmas Day.

A veteran fire investigator called it one of the worst - and most saddening cases of hoarding he had seen in his twenty-plus years on the job.

The fire was reported at 2:55 AM on Sunday, December 25, 2011, bringing 51 Los Angeles Firefighters to 7053 Sunnycrest Trail in Tujunga, to battle what was initially believed to be burning vegetation.

Firefighters fought their way through thick trees, piles of discards and seven abandoned autos filled floor-to-headliner with possessions, to assault intense flames that had entered the densely packed premises.

With nearly every bit of the 4,349 square-foot lot - and all but a few cubic feet of the one-story house and detached garage filled with combustible clutter, firefighters relentlessly assaulted the flames for 67 minutes before extinguishing the fire.

With a sole resident still unaccounted for, Los Angeles Firefighters began what would become a five-day ordeal, as they sifted through tons-upon-tons of smoldering debris in an attempt to find the missing man.

Dogs trained to search for cadavers were brought to the scene on two occasions, but offered little clue in the LAFD's relentless yet dignified search for the homeowner both near and within the house, which had been fashioned with makeshift tunnels to allow short and difficult passage.

Guided by clues from a friend detailing the man's daily behavior, Investigators from the LAFD's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section were able to narrow the search, and on Thursday afternoon, discovered his remains just outside the home under nearly four feet of densely packed post-fire debris.

The precise cause, time and manner of the man's death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

No firefighter injuries were reported during the firefight, investigation or extended search for the man's remains. A monetary loss from the fire was not tabulated, and the cause of blaze - with origin outside the home, was not believed to be an intentional act, according to LAFD investigators.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fast-Moving Fire Erupts in Sherman Oaks Financial Firm

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 |

SHERMAN OAKS - A dramatic fire on Tuesday evening did damage to the mixed-use property of a Sherman Oaks financial firm, but firefighters soon tamed the flames without injury.

The fire was reported at 9:23 PM on December 27, 2011 at 15245 Greenleaf Street in Sherman Oaks, a one-story residential property converted for collateral business use.

Firefighters forced entry and aggressively attacked the blaze with handlines, as colleagues sought to halt the horizontal spread of fire through strategic ventilation of the steeply pitched roof.

The blaze quickly escalated to a greater alarm, bringing 86 Los Angeles Firefighters to battle the heavy flames within the attic, which blossomed into the sky as the roof of the 2,353 square-foot building gave way.

The relentless effort of LAFD personnel prevented the fire from extending to nearby homes in the largely residential neighborhood. The flames were confined within the building of fire origin and extinguished in just 37 minutes. No injuries were reported.

Teams of Los Angeles Firefighters stayed well into the early morning hours assisting the business owner by salvaging important business documents and client tax records. Fire loss to Entertainment Financial Services is still being tabulated. The precise cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.

Dispatched Units: E88 T88 E288 RA88 E83 RA83 E109 E239 T39 EM14 BC10 BC14 E100 T89 E289 DC3 E93 SQ21 BC9 E39 E290 T90 EM17 UR88 E89 RA889 T27 E227 BC5 RA39 AR2
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Claims Life of Pacoima 'Senior' on Christmas Morn

Sunday, December 25, 2011 |

PACOIMA - The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a small fire on Christmas Morning that sadly claimed the life of a "senior" resident at an independent-living facility.

At 10:19 am, Firefighters responded to a reported "Structure Fire" at 11060 North Norris Avenue. They quickly ascended the six-story "Pledgerville Senior Citizen Villa" and had to force-entry into a single unit on the third floor, where they found a smoke-filled apartment.

Quick work was made of the small fire that required merely a single fire-extinguisher. Unfortunately, little time was also required for the fire to have tragically claimed the life of the unit's 90 year-old, female resident. She apparently had lived alone.

The fire-fatality required the LAFD's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section to respond, where they spent most of Christmas Day conducting their investigation. The fire was deemed "accidental" in nature and Investigators stated "the most probable cause as candles...that appeared to have somehow ignited the victim's clothing." The manner in which that took place is unclear, as the fire remains under active investigation. The victim's official cause of death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner. Dollar-loss estimates were not yet available.

The LAFD extends their condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, for this tragic loss. Your LAFD is saddened by such incidents and finds them extremely difficult to report, especially on Christmas Day. We do so only to highlight safety and underscore the importance of exercising extreme caution anytime you are around or in use of an open flame, regardless of the source. This holds true not only through the Holiday Season, but at all times.

Friends, there are numerous articles that can be found in our archives, here, on lafd.blogspot.com, some of which are "linked" in this article. Please take the time to review them with your loved ones. Simple steps and observance of key safety tips can help prevent tragedy from occurring.

Please allow yourselves to spend your Holiday Season with family and friends...SAFELY! And from all of us at the Los Angeles Fire Department...today, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!

Dispatched Units:
E98 T98 E298 RA898 E7 RA7 E275 T75 E91 EM15 BC10 BC12 E77 RA98 BC12 AR2 DC3 AR11 AR36

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Miracle on 51st Street: Thanks to The Spark of Love...

Thursday, December 22, 2011 |

Thanks to the generosity of those supporting Southern California Firefighters' Spark of Love Toy Drive, the Guzman family of Los Angeles were invited to an LAFD Station on East 51st Street for... well, we'll let the video explain:

Indeed words escape us in trying to extend appreciation to the many, including the staff at KABC-TV, who have selflessly given to this well-established program, now in its 19th year as a regional endeavor among Southern California Fire Departments.

So along with our hearty thanks, is a reminder that many families like the Guzman's remain in need this holiday season!

Firefighters in Los Angeles will gratefully accept your generous donation of a new unwrapped toy or sporting good at any Neighborhood Fire Station through New Years Day... but please don't wait!

For more information, call the Spark of Love hotline:

(213) 626-2871
...toys will be gratefully accepted through New Years Day, but please don't wait!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Limits Damage to $70K at South Boyle Heights Textile Firm


SOUTH BOYLE HEIGHTS - It took the combined skill of 94 Los Angeles Firefighters less than thirty minutes to extinguish an accidental fire in a South Boyle Heights textile firm on Thursday.

The fire was reported at 12:36 PM on December 22, 2011 at 3603 East Olympic Boulevard, where firefighters discovered well-entrenched flames within a 40' x 80' two-story textile storage facility.

Forcing entry into the closed business - nestled among a row of similar buildings, firefighters utilized strategic vertical ventilation and sheer tenacity to hold the flames to the second floor and prevent fire spread beyond the premises.

The blaze was extinguished in just 29 minutes, and no injuries were reported.

Loss to Green Castle Textile was limited to $70,000 ($50,000 structure & $20,000 contents). The fire is categorized as accidental, and attributed to an energized lamp falling onto combustible carpeting within a centrally located photo booth on the firm's second floor.

Dispatched Units: E25 RA25 E17 E2 T9 RA809 E201 T1 EM9 BC1 BC11 E9 E26 E202 T2 E4 E221 T21 SQ21 DC2 EM2 BC2 T3 E203 UR3 RA3 RA803 E3 UR88 BC5 EA1 AR1 AR2
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Man Injured, Pets Die in Explosive San Fernando Valley House Fire

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 |

LAKE BALBOA - An explosive fire in a San Fernando Valley home early Tuesday, killed two pets and sent the homeowner to the hospital for treatment of painful burn injuries.

The fire, reported initially as an explosion by neighbors at 7:53 AM on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, brought 38 members of the Los Angeles Fire Department to 7500 White Oak Avenue in Lake Balboa.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find a one-story 810 square-foot home well involved with fire. As LAFD crews battled the blaze, they encountered the home's sole occupant, a 72 year old man, with second-degree burns to his face and hands. Following prompt treatment by Fire Department Paramedics, he was taken by ambulance to Northridge Hospital Medical Center in fair condition.

Firefighters continued to attack the flames, discovering two cats and two dogs within - or immediately adjacent to - the burning structure. Pulled from within and away from the smoke charged residence, firefighters were able to provide oxygen, resuscitate and rescue one canine and one feline. The other two animals however, proved to be beyond medical help and died at the scene.

The fire was confined to the home and extinguished in just 18 minutes. No other injuries were reported.

Once stabilized by firefighters, the surviving dog and cat were placed in the arms of neighbors who pledged to get them to veterinary care.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the early morning blaze has been categorized as accidental, and is attributed to a leak of combustible propane from a portable heating device used improperly within the home.

Dispatched Units: E273 T73 RA73 E100 RA100 E103 EM15 BC17 E70 T90 E90 E290 BC15
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Woodland Hills House Fire Deemed Arson


Post Fire Photo © @peterbfletcher via Twitpic. Click to view larger...WOODLAND HILLS - Los Angeles Fire Department investigators have declared a fast-moving fire in a hillside home Monday afternoon to be an act of arson, and are seeking the public's help in apprehending those responsible.

The fire, reported by an astute neighbor at 1:03 PM on Monday, December 19, 2011, brought 45 Los Angeles Firefighters to the unoccupied split-level home at 5136 Llano Drive in Woodland Hills.

Firefighters quickly navigated narrow and winding streets south of Ventura Boulevard to find heavy flames on both the street-level top floor and the floor beneath that compromised the 2,292 square-foot residence.

An aggressive and well-coordinated attack on the fire confined flames within the 47 year-old structure. Firefighters had the blaze extinguished in just 25 minutes and no injuries were reported.

Fire heavily impacted both levels of the non-fire sprinklered home, and preliminary damage estimates exceed $300,000.

LAFD Investigators, assisted by an accelerant detecting canine, performed a comprehensive on-site investigation, leading them to declare the fire a deliberate act. Anyone with information related to this crime is asked to contact the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section at (213) 893-9800, or lafdarson@lacity.org

Dispatched Units: E84 RA84 E305 T105 E72 RA93 EM17 BC17 E100 AR2 E93 T93 E293 BC10 DC2 EA1 AR12

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

L.A. Firefighter Charity Cookbook Now Available

Monday, December 19, 2011 |

It's been called the hottest holiday gift - and for good reason. Get to know Los Angeles Firefighters via their personal recipes proven to please the heartiest of appetites.

The "Los Angeles Firehouse Favorites" cookbook offers recipes that are served daily in fire stations across the City of Los Angeles. By ordering now, you'll be supporting the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that enhances local emergency response.

Best of all, you can click now to order this one-of-a-kind cookbook for just $10.00


Click here to go to on-line order page at SupportLAFD.org

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

'LAFD BLOG' Receives National Award

Saturday, December 17, 2011 |

As the newest member of the Public Service Office (PSO) team, it is with great pride and distinct pleasure we announce that our own LAFD BLOG (http://lafd.blogspot.com) was recently recognized by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) as the "BEST BLOG" at the 2011 Media Awards.

Congratulations to our Public Service Officers and Department Spokesmen, Brian Humphrey and Erik Scott, for their outstanding work and dedication to clearly establishing the LAFD BLOG as one of the best in the business.

As stated, “The IAFF Media Awards honor communications, reporting and photography that best portray the professional and dangerous work of firefighters and emergency medical personnel in the United States and Canada.” For more detailed information and a complete list of the 2011 IAFF Media Awards contest winners, please visit: http://bit.ly/IAFFawards.

The LAFD BLOG is maintained by three firefighters, who work a 24-hour, platoon-duty schedule. They are available around-the-clock to provide breaking news to all. If you are interested in following the LAFD’s efforts in the field or in receiving real-time information as it breaks, we invite you to visit: lafdalert.blogspot.com where you can access current and archived stories and photos of our more significant incidents, as well as other pertinent and timely information.

This gives us the opportunity to make our readers aware of the collective efforts put forth by the LAFD’s entire Community Service Unit (CSU). In the City of Los Angeles, where the strong demands placed upon the LAFD (in this case, from a media standpoint) have become abundantly clear, the CSU Staff continues to work incredibly hard at consistently delivering the most accurate, current information on incidents, events and issues... no matter how difficult.

The PSO’s would like to thank the entire CSU Staff and all contributing photographers for their continuous support and in seeing to it that our office is positioned for success. Longtime PSO Brian Humphrey, who is largely responsible for the development of the LAFD BLOG,  says “We truly appreciate not only the help we are provided, but all that is done on a daily basis by our entire staff.”

Gentlemen, keep up the great work and congratulations!!

The LAFD BOG was nominated by our own United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112.

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Arrest Made in Connection with Recent Korean Church Fire

Friday, December 16, 2011 |

NORTH HILLS - On Thursday December 15th, 2011, two juveniles, ages 12 and 13, were arrested for the arson, burglary and vandalism incident at the Valley Korean Central Church. The crime occurred on December 12, 2011 at approximately 2:30 P.M.

Los Angeles Firefighters responded to "Reported Smoke" at 15204 Plummer Street, where it was discovered that combustibles were ignited inside a toaster oven in one of the rooms. Firefighters rapidly extinguished the flames, however vandalism, as well as graffiti and racial slurs written on the walls and floor, was discovered inside one of the rooms.

LAFD’s Arson Investigators worked diligently to identify suspects and requested the public to assist with any tips or leads. As information developed, evidence in the case led to identify the two subjects.

Investigators from the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section and Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department Major Crimes Division and Criminal Conspiracy Section, arrested the subjects yesterday during a joint investigation, as part of the Los Angeles House of Worship Task Force investigation. 

The two subjects were booked and subsequently released to their parents. The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for consideration of filing charges against the individuals. While there is additional investigative work that needs to be completed prior to filing the case with the District Attorney, there are no other outstanding suspects.

Anyone having additional information about this crime, or any other arson crime occurring in the City of Los Angeles, is encouraged to contact the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section at (213) 893-9800, or lafdarson@lacity.org.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

An Essential Child's Gift Missing From Your List

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 |

With holiday shopping at a peak, the streets will soon be full of bike-riding, skateboarding and skate-wearing kids.

While it generally makes us smile to see a child riding a new bike, skateboard or even a pogo stick (yes, they still make them!), there is one thing we are not seeing in your shopping cart.

In a collective rush to get the bike or skateboard under the tree, many have forgotten an essential accessory to go with their child's gift. Namely...

A helmet.

Along with gloves, knee- and elbow pads, many people have overlooked the importance of providing an approved and well-fitting helmet for their child.

And it's not only about bicycles...

California amended its Bicycle Helmet Law to also require children younger than 18 years to wear a helmet when riding non-powered scooters and skateboards as well as roller (and in-line) skates.

When California's law was enacted in 2003, USA Today called it "the toughest child safety helmet law in the country". Firefighters just call it common sense!

Eight years later, some folks seem to be unaware. So we're offering a reminder, as well as some tips from our good friends at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

First, make sure you know the correct way to wear a helmet. It makes a big difference.

Helmet worn correctly!Helmet worn incorrectly

The helmet should be worn flat atop the head, not tilted back at an angle. Make sure the helmet fits snugly and does not obstruct the field of vision. Also be certain the chin strap fits securely and that the buckle stays fastened.

Secondly, make sure the helmet you're using is purpose approved. While most helmets appear sturdy, not every helmet is certified for use while bicycling.

We suggest that adult riders set a great example by also wearing a properly fitting helmet at times when they are required for children.

And finally, if you're not sure about the safety of your helmet or other household goods, don't hesitate to check the recall and safety status of helmets, toys and other consumer products by visiting the CPSC website at: CPSC.gov

Having trouble convincing a child to wear a helmet? Just come by the Fire Station. We'll be happy to show them that cool people always wear helmets!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

California Officials Ask: Do You EDIS?

Monday, December 12, 2011 |

The Los Angeles Fire Department relies on EDIS. So does the National Weather Service. In fact, hundreds of public safety agencies and public service organizations across The Golden State depend on EDIS.

EDIS - Emergency Digital Information Service
EDIS is the 'Emergency Digital Information Service' from the California Emergency Management Agency. EDIS delivers official information about emergencies, disasters and hazardous conditions to those with a need to know.

Floods, Storms, Earthquakes, Fires, Tsunamis, Civil Unrest...

EDIS directly notifies broadcasters of important events. You can also receive this information directly, free of charge, at the same time it is sent to local newsrooms.

We encourage you to bookmark or favorite the EDIS Home Page at:


The LAFD reminds you: during an emergency, knowledge is power!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Have You Heard of NOAA 'All Hazards' Radio?

Sunday, December 11, 2011 |

National 'All Hazards' Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of NOAA radio stations broadcasting continuous information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office.

NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Working with the Federal Communication Commission's Emergency Alert System, NWR is an all hazards radio network, making it an important source of local weather and emergency information.

In conjunction with public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills) and public safety (such as AMBER Alerts or 9-1-1 Telephone outages).

Known as "The Voice of NOAA's National Weather Service", NWR is provided as a public service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), part of the Department of Commerce, and covers all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories.

NWR requires a special yet inexpensive radio receiver that can be purchased at an electronics retailer near you. You can also listen via scanner radio on one of seven frequencies (MHz):
  • 162.400
  • 162.425
  • 162.450
  • 162.475
  • 162.500
  • 162.525
  • 162.550 
For additional information, visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

'Greater Alarm' Does Damage to Pacoima Business

Saturday, December 10, 2011 |

PACOIMA - Firefighters from all ends of the San Fernando Valley converged on a large, commercial "Structure Fire" today. There were no injuries.

L.A. Firefighters Battle Pacoima Industrial Fire. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...The time of alarm was 3:54 pm on Saturday, December 10, 2011. First on-scene companies at 9847 North Glenoaks Boulevard, encountered an approximate 50' x 150' commercial building with "heavy fire showing from the rear" of a wrought-iron manufacturer. The incident quickly escalated to a "Greater Alarm Structure Fire" as 80 Los Angeles Firefighters teamed-up to battle the intense heat and flames generated by the single-story occupancy, constructed entirely of metal.

Firefighters managed to halt the fast moving blaze before it reached the company's administrative office and in doing so, were able to preserve critical business information, as well as some valuable inventory. The fire was fully-extinguished in 1 hour and 12 minutes. There were no injuries reported from the scene.

Dollar-loss estimates were placed at $500,000 for structure and $250,000 for contents. The cause of the late afternoon fire is under active investigation by the LAFD's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section.

Dispatched Units: E77 E88 E98 T98 E298 E287 T87 RA898 RA98 EM17 BC12 BC10 E60 E274 T74 E24 DC3 SQ21 BC14 E7 E91 E81 E275 T75 E260 T60 E239 T39 EM14 E89 T89 E289 RA89 RA889 UR88 BC5 AR2 AR7 RA93 SU1 BC14 DT3 HE1 LD1 LD2 TP2 TP3 EA1 EL83 RT83 E39 E87 T93 E293
(photos / slideshow)

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Rips Through Warehouse in West LA

Sunday, December 04, 2011 |

WEST LOS ANGELES - Over 100 Los Angeles Firefighters extinguished a fire that ripped through a 150' x 300' office supply warehouse on Saturday December 3rd, 2011. The intense blaze was extinguished before it extended to nearby businesses, and no one was injured.

At 5:25 P.M. firefighters arrived to 2231 Barrington Avenue, to find fire showing from the exterior of the structure doing business as Office Depot, which was open for business. The flames quickly spread to wood siding that covered the building's windows and crept inside where mounds of ordinary Class A combustible storage, such as paper and office furniture was stacked.

Greater Alarm Fire at West L.A. Office Supply Store. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...Ascending ladders to the Conventional roof, firefighters cut a strategic 4' x 150' strip out of the 1x8 diagonal sheathing for vertical ventilation. Meanwhile additional fire crews aggressively advanced hose-lines inside, but were immediately met with an additional challenge of protecting an adjacent structure, a swimming pool supply store, before flames spread to the chemicals which could create noxious fumes.

A total of 106 firefighters under the direction of Assistant Chief Michael Little fully extinguished the blaze in one hour and three minutes while remaining in an offensive attack. The blaze was confined to the 25,835 square-foot building of origin.

Greater Alarm Fire at West L.A. Office Supply Store. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...
The dollar loss is estimated at $1.75 million ($750,000 content & one million structure).

The cause of the fire is undetermined, however it is under investigation by LAFD's Arson Counter-Terrorism Section, whom is actively pursuing leads and interviewing persons of interest.

Dispatched Units: E59 RA59 E292 T92 RA92 E37 E62 E43 E263 T63 EM9 BC9 BC18 E67 E237 T37 E62 BC9 E43 E263 T63 E37 RA59 EM9 BC18 E19 E269 T69 DC3 SQ21 EM14 BC5 T5 E205 E5 RA5 UR88 BC4 E67 AR2 RA19 RA37 EA2 E29 T10 E210 BC11 EA1 RT59

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Spare Three South L.A. Businesses From Fast Moving Fire

Saturday, December 03, 2011 |

SOUTH LOS ANGELES - A fast moving fire in the attic of a one-story strip mall caused damage to two businesses in South Los Angeles early Saturday morning, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The Greater Alarm blaze, reported at 3:56 AM on Saturday, December 3, 2011 brought 119 Los Angeles Firefighters to 8720 South Western Avenue, where they discovered heavy smoke showing from a liquor store at the north end of a five-tenant row of businesses that shared a common attic.

Strategic rooftop ventilation helped limit horizontal fire spread, as firefighters under the command of LAFD Assistant Chief David Yamahata used handlines to tackle flames within the 100' x 75' structure.

Firefighters confined the bulk of fire to the liquor store of fire origin and attic, allowing only minor extension to a beauty supply firm immediately to the south. The three other firms were spared damage.

The flames were fully extinguished in just 35 minutes, and no injuries were reported. Loss from the fire is still being tabulated, while the cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.

Dispatched Units: E57 RA57 RA857 E266 E66 T66 E33 E264 E64 T64 EM11 BC13 BC11 E9 DC2 E233 T33 E46 SQ21 EM2 BC1 T5 E205 E5 RA5 UR3 UR88 BC4 T21 E221 E15 RA264 RA66 RA64 EM9 E10 E26 E285 T85 E295 T95 AR1
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Make Quick Stop of South Los Angeles Blaze

Friday, December 02, 2011 |

SOUTH LOS ANGELES - More than a hundred Los Angeles Firefighters fought a late night blaze near Exposition Park for nearly an hour Friday evening, battling intense flames that raced through a discount furnishing and electronics firm and threatened to consume buildings nearby.

The December 2, 2011 fire at 3935 South Vermont Avenue, was reported at 10:04 PM and quickly escalated to a Greater Alarm, as 121 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the command of Battalion Chief Stephen Gutierrez, forced entry and pulled multiple hoselines to do battle within the 75' x 150' retail establishment.

Teams of firefighters worked swiftly with chainsaws on the arch truss roof, performing vertical ventilation of heat and smoke, as colleagues beneath them stoically held the fire to the westernmost half of the non-fire sprinklered structure, extinguishing the flames in just 59 minutes.

LAFD Halts Flames in South L.A. Discount Store. LAFD Photo by Harry Garvin. Click to enlarge and learn more...No injuries were reported.

Loss to the yet identified business is still being tabulated. The well-coordinated effort of Los Angeles Firefighters is credited with sparing a one-story automotive repair business to the north, and a two story building of apartments over retail to the south.

The cause of the fire remains under active investigation.
Dispatched Units: E46 RA46 RA846 E215 E15 T15 E34 E66 T66 E266 SQ21 EM2 BC11 BC13 E9 RA34 DC2 E13 E14 E26 T26 E226 E210 T10 RA10 E233 T33 EM9 EM6 BC18 BC5 BC4 T3 E203 E3 UR88 BC1 RA3 RA803 UR3 AR1 RT59 RA868 E95 T61 E261
(video) (photos)

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Paramedics Encourage Food Safety Following Power Outage


LOS ANGELES - As Southern California recovers from damaging winds, the Los Angeles Fire Department is asking residents who experienced electrical outage to use care when evaluating their refrigerated food.

Spoiled food can lead to illness - that causes needless personal discomfort and a burden on the health care system. That's why LAFD Paramedics are asking you to review and share refrigerated food safety information from the President's Food Safety Working Group.

This quick printable guide from the American Red Cross covers the basics:

For additional information about power safety, service restoration requests and claims, residents are encouraged to visit: LADWP.com, SCE.com or their local utility provider.

To learn more about food safety, visit:


Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Early Morning Fire Rips Commercial Property in El Sereno


EL SERENO - A large fire erupted at a commercial property in the early morning hours today and brought 180 Firefighters to the scene.

At 1:30 am on Friday, December 2, 2011, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a large "Outside Fire" at 5339 East Valley Boulevard near El Sereno. The property spanned nearly three blocks in length and hosted several businesses, all of which were in jeopardy of being exposed to the blaze. Among those structures, was an approximate 200' x 400' commercial building with a very significant fire load. First arriving Firefighters encountered downed power lines and a large volume of fire, then immediately requested additional resources for assistance.

At the center of this property was an open yard, where several tractor-trailers, most of which were holding highly combustible materials, were parked along with other heavy equipment. Together, these vehicles provided most of the fuel for this "Major Emergency" Incident. Firefighters did an outstanding job of preventing the blaze from spreading into any of the adjacent businesses on the property. One structure did sustain some fire damage, while the others were impacted only by the large quantities of water required to fully extinguish the blaze, which came in 1 hour and 58 minutes.

There were no injuries reported from the scene and despite the "High Wind Warnings" that were in effect at the time of the fire, the wind did not play a factor.

Damage estimates were not yet available and the cause of the fire is under active investigation.
Dispatched Units: E16 RA47 E201 T1 RA1 E202 E2 T2 EM2 BC2 E44 BC1 E12 T12 E212 E25 T9 SQ21 DC2 EM11 BC11 E203 T3 E3 UR27 RA27 RA827 UR88 BC5 DC1 T27 E227 E47 E210 T10 E4 E17 AR1 E9 E55 T50 E250 E211 T11 E42 E215 T15 E235 T35 E229 T29 BC13 BC18 BC14 EM9 EA1 E27 RT59 RA867 RA2 RA12 RA4 RA803 RA804 RA844 CM3 EM11 FC1 DT1
(photos / slideshow)

Submitted by Matt Spence, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department