Today marks 20 years since the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest, often referred to as the "L.A. Riots", where rampant arson, looting, assault and murder occurred over a six day period in the greater Los Angeles area.
Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying over 1,000 structures and flooding 9-1-1 fire calls. Property damage reached roughly $1 billion, over 50 people died, and approximately 2,000 more were injured. Due to violent mobs pelting Firefighters with rocks, bottles and even shooting at them, Fire Crews began to respond with police escorts. A dawn-to-dusk curfew was implemented and eventually the deployment of the National Guard assisted to control the situation.
These two short, but powerful videos attempt to manifest what your Los Angeles Firefighters were battling. Protection of life and property took on new meaning, as they never expected that it would include their own:
This 3:18 clip depicts a Fire Captain's "impossible mission", 48 hours into the epicenter of the riots...
This 8:04 clip provides aerial footage from April 29th, 1992 - May 2nd, 1992 and includes dramatic dispatched radio traffic from firefighters...
The Los Angeles Fire Department offers a proverbial tip of the helmet to allied Fire Department's, Law Enforcement, Military and Citizens that assisted during, and the rebuilding after, this landmark event for our City and Department.
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department