ENCINO / TARZANA - Aggressive work by Los Angeles Firefighters brought a blaze in a one-story commercial building to a grinding halt on Thursday evening. No one was injured.
Just after 9:00 pm on November 29, 2012, Firefighters arrived to 18471 Ventura Boulevard (originally reported as 5400 Reseda Avenue) to find thick black smoke billowing out of a cellular phone store, threatening a connected furniture store to the west.
A bold attack ensued against the flames. Firefighters strategically fought from the rear of the 27 year-old building, making their way from the "uninvolved to the involved", careful not to push the flames into undamaged areas of the shop. Simultaneously, colleagues laddered the structure and began vertical ventilation with chainsaws to open up the lightweight open web steel joist roof, allowing for heat, smoke, and gasses to escape.
Intense flames quickly spread through the entire attic of the 70' x 25' building, resulting in a 30' portion of the roof to begin sagging. Additional firefighters were immediately requested.
Determining no one was trapped inside the 6400 square-foot store, and considering "risk vs gain", complied with the fact that the flames were well entrenched, a defensive attack began approximately 15 minutes into the firefight.
Soon thereafter, firefighters began getting a good handle on the fire. In just an additional ten to fifteen minutes there were no longer any visible flames, just defeated white smoke remained.
During and after the battle, firefighters also concentrated their efforts into salvage work to protect the neighboring furniture store from damage. A division wall between the two businesses did its job, and assisted in stopping spread of flames.
Approximately 100 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Joseph Foley, declared a knockdown in 36 minutes.
The cause remains under active investigation by LAFD's Arson Section. The majority of damage was to the cellular phone store and the dollar loss is being tabulated.
Dispatched Units: E293 E93 T93 RA93 E83 RA83 E273 T73 E100 EM17 BC17 BC15 E84 E87 E90 E105 DC3 E305 T105 E290 T90 E239 T39 SQ21 EM15 BC14 E288 T88 E88 UR88 RA88 RA889 BC10 RA73 RA100 RA104 EM14 E39 EA1 RT83 RA860 AR2Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department