CANOGA PARK - Early Thanksgiving Day Los Angeles Firefighters battled a blaze in a commercial building where a man's body was found in a burned-out business that went up in flames. Also, an injured firefighter was transported to a local hospital after a significant fall from a ladder.
The fire was reported at 2:10 a.m. on November 21, 2012. Firefighters arrived at the 7800 block of Alabama Avenue to find fire showing from a 75' x 150' one-story multi-occupancy commercial building, and immediately requested additional assistance.
In a well coordinated and swift attack, firefighters aggressively forced entry through metal clad doors with rotary saws, deployed hand lines in an interior fire attack, laddered the penalized roof, and performed vertical ventilation with chain saws to release hot gases and smoke. Their relentless effort and teamwork contained the damage to seven of the fourteen connected units (units 1-7 were on the west & 8-14 on the east). Tenants included a paint shop, two kitchen appliance stores, a construction business and a surf shop.
An adult male firefighter suffered injuries to the left side of his body from an approximate 16' fall while on a ladder. He was transported to a local Trauma Center in fair condition.
A total of 62 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Karen Richter, extinguished the flames in 32 minutes.
The cause of the early morning blaze remains under active investigation by LAFD's Arson Section and LAPD Topanga Division, however preliminary reports suggest that there is no suspicious activity indicating this was an arson fire.
The unit of origin was not fitted with functional smoke alarms, and there were no security doors, window security bars or obvious non-fire factors to impede the man's egress. The building was equipped with fire sprinklers.
A positive identification of the deceased man to include his age, as well as the cause, time and manner of his death, will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.
Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated.
Dispatched Units: E106 RA906 E296 T96 RA96 E104 EM17 BC17 E72 E305 T105 E107 DC3 SQ21 EM15 BC15 T88 E288 UR88 RA88 T89 E289 BC10 RA104 AR2 AR10 AR39 AR7 T93 E293 E87 SQ87 JT3Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department