LAFD Battles Debris Fire in Sun Valley Junkyard

Sunday, October 28, 2012 |

SUN VALLEY - A stubborn junkyard fire that included used tires, sent a thick plume of smoke above the northeast San Fernando Valley on Sunday afternoon.

LAFD Douses Stubborn Sun Valley Junkyard Blaze. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more....The Los Angeles Fire Department was notified of the blaze at 12:49 PM on October 28, 2012 with vague descriptions of the location.

Following the plume of smoke, firefighters quickly arrived at 12242 Branford Street in Sun Valley, to discover the remnants of several vehicles ablaze, with flames spreading to scattered debris that included a large pile of tires and at least two 55-gallon drums of a then-unknown waste.

It took the combined effort of 72 LAFD personnel little more than an hour to fully extinguish the flames. LAFD Hazardous Materials experts subsequently determined the drums contained only used motor oil. Focused effort by responders prevented any off-site contamination.

No injuries were reported, and no monetary loss was tabulated. The cause of the fire was attributed to worker carelessness with a torch.

Dispatched Units: E239 T39 BC12 E7 E89 E91 E88 RA7 FT100 HM75 E100 SQ87 T87 E287 DC3 EM14 BC10 EA1 E289 T89 E275 T75 E81 E87 BC10 EM14
[ photos ] [ slideshow ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Inoperative Smoke Alarms Force Venice Woman to Leap from Burning Home


VENICE - Firefighters surmise the lack of functional smoke alarms may have forced a Venice woman to jump to safety from the second floor of a burning home Sunday morning.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 8:46 AM on October 28, 2012, bringing the swift response of thirty-nine firefighters to a burning two-story home at 20 Anchorage Street in Venice.

LAFD crews arrived quickly to discover four off-duty colleagues using a garden hose to hold the spread of flames, while rendering aid to one of the home's occupants. The woman suffered moderate to severe injury to both of her heels, sprained wrists and smoke inhalation, when she leapt from a second-floor balcony to escape the blaze filling both floors of the home with thick, hot smoke.

First arriving firefighters extended hoselines within the home to make an aggressive and well-coordinated interior attack on the flames, holding the fire to the first floor living room and extinguishing the flames in just 12 minutes.

Los Angeles Firefighters later determined that smoke alarms in the home were not functional, delaying a critical warning that prevented the woman from knowing of the fire in its early stages, when she could have likely made quick and simple escape without injury. Responders agree that without such warning, the fire could have taken her life.

The injured woman was taken to an area hospital by LAFD ambulance in fair condition. No other injuries were reported. Five adults displaced by the fire, were referred to the American Red Cross for temporary placement assistance.

Loss from the blaze was limited to $40,000 ($25,000 structure & $15,000 contents). The cause of the fire is attributed to an electrical malfunction in a living room wall outlet, that led to the ignition of adjacent upholstered furnishings.
Dispatched Units: E263 E63 T63 E67 RA867 E62 RA62 E205 T5 EM9 BC4 BC9 E59
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Treat 3 Injured After Car Crashes into Target Store

Friday, October 26, 2012 |

CANOGA PARK - A vehicle crashed into a Target store in Canoga Park October 26, 2012, injuring three people, one critically. The crash was just before 5:30 p.m. at 6600 Owensmouth Avenue in the Westfield Topanga shopping center.

An approximate 70 year-old woman driving a dark-colored sedan down a parking ramp continued through a three way stop toward the rear of the department store. The car crashed into the building, narrowly squeezing through closed double doors, with about a foot of clearance on either side. The vehicle barrelled about 50 feet inside the electronic section of the department store before coming to a stop.

Three people, including the driver, were injured in the crash and transported to three different area hospitals. A 56-year-old man suffered a hip injury and a 29-year-old woman suffered critical head trauma. The driver suffered moderate injuries.

Car Crashes into Target Store, Injuring 3, 1 CriticallyOver 30 Los Angeles Firefighters secured the area, rapidly treated and transported the injured, then remained on scene for hours to remove the vehicle from the store, with LAPD assistance.

The Department of Building & Safety further assessed the integrity of the structure and LAPD Topanga Division investigated what exactly caused this vehicle to crash into the store.
Dispatched Units: E72 E305 E105 T105 RA84 E106 E10 RA96 HR56 EM17 BC17 UR88 RA906 RA93 RA73 EM15 EM14 RA104
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department President Honored

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 |

CENTURY CITY - Earlier this week the Century City Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2012 Women of Achievement (WOA) Annual Awards Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. We are proud to say Karen Wagener, of the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation was among this year’s honorees.

Karen Wagner of AwardedEach year the Century City Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Council (WBC) recognizes local women whom inspire many through their commitment to excellence and professional dedication. Nomination forms, made available through a variety of outlets, are reviewed by the WBC, whom then selects six professional career women. These talented women embody a devotion to making their communities stronger; a dedication to raising funds and awareness for a multitude of non-profit and charitable organizations; and a commitment to mentoring other women in their careers.

Honoree Karen Wagener currently serves as the President of the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation – the major source of private support for the Los Angeles Fire Department that raises funds to provide equipment, training, community and youth programs that are not included in the city budget. Her professional background includes nine years as President of the Los Angeles Police Foundation and six years as the Executive Director for the Volunteer Bureau of L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan. As a volunteer, she has been active with KCET, UCLA Alumni Association, Leo Baeck Temple, the American Jewish Committee and Christmas in April, South Central Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Fire Department sincerely thanks Karen for supporting us, and encourages all to visit...

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Hollywood Boulevard Bus Collision Sends 35 to Hospital

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 |

HOLLYWOOD - A transit bus sideswiped a driverless dump truck before colliding with a sedan on Hollywood Boulevard Tuesday morning, sending thirty-five people to the hospital.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 7:57 AM on October 23, 2012 to 7673 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. Firefighters arrived quickly to discover three vehicles involved in a dramatic collision.

According to witnesses, a Metro bus traveling westbound on Hollywood Boulevard had attempted to avoid but sideswiped a dump truck sans driver that rolled suddenly down an incline into its path at Stanley Avenue. Following the evasive maneuver, the bus collided with an eastbound sedan, badly trapping the driver of that vehicle when it became partially wedged beneath the front of the bus.

Teams of Los Angeles Firefighters, including personnel assigned to the LAFD Urban Search & Rescue and Heavy Rescue units, disentangled the trapped driver from her auto, while their colleagues performed a systematic triage of the remaining 37 persons involved in the collision.

The woman was removed from the crumpled remains of her silver sedan in less than twenty minutes. Having suffered a fractured left leg and other unspecified injuries, she was transported by LAFD Paramedics to a nearby trauma center in serious condition.

The woman's pre-teen daughter, who had been riding properly restrained in the rear seat of her vehicle, was able to exit the car unscathed prior to the Fire Department's arrival. In fair condition, she was taken to a nearby pediatric hospital by LAFD ambulance.

Hollywood Bus Crash Sends 35 to Hospital © Photo by Mike Meadows, click to view more...Also shaken but suffering minimal injury was the bus driver, who along with 32 of her passengers stated a desire for hospital evaluation. The 33 from aboard the bus, as well as the automobile driver and her daughter accounted for the 35 total taken to eight regional hospitals by LAFD ambulance for further assessment and care.

Three bus passengers declined treatment or transportation, and were released at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

The collision remains under formal investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials.
Dispatched Units: E41 RA41 E27 RA27 E82 E261 T61 HR56 EM5 BC5 UR88 E97 RA97 RA61 RA876 RA58 RA829 RA894 RA826 EM18 EM11 RA827 RA835 RA803 RA860 RA829 RA850
[ photos ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Join LAFD at African-American Recruitment Seminar

Monday, October 22, 2012 |

The Los Angeles Fire Department is committed to diversity, and strives to be truly reflective of the community it serves. You are invited to continue the rich tradition of African-American heritage in the City of Los Angeles and in the Fire Service with your own career as a member of the LAFD.

We are hosting a special African-American Recruitment Seminar to share information about the career paths available after becoming a Los Angeles Firefighter. Women and men are strongly encouraged to apply. The seminar will cover valuable information about salary and benefits, the application and selection process, prep programs and the physical fitness necessary to do well in the Academy, as well as on the job.

  • What: LAFD African-American Recruitment Seminar
  • When: Saturday, October 27, 2012
  • Time: Two Sessions > 9:00AM – 11:00AM or 12:00 PM - 2:00PM
  • Where: Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center, 1700 Stadium Way, Los Angeles, CA 90012 
  • Dress Code: Business casual

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Partners to Launch OK/HELP Window Sign Program for Earthquake Preparedness

Thursday, October 18, 2012 |

Today, 9.3 million Californians successfully participated in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. Great job! Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Fire Department partnered with Council District 12CERT, American Red Cross, and the U.S. Geological Survey in compiling a pamphlet to offer you and your family clear, simple steps to follow immediately after a major earthquake.

It's encouraged to store the pamphlet near your front door, then following an earthquake, tear off the “OK/HELP” sign and place it in your front window to indicate to your neighbors and emergency personnel if you are "OK” or need “HELP.” This will help firefighters save time and maximize resources by getting to those who need immediate help more efficiently.

We know it's not a matter of IF, but WHEN the Big One will strike. And simply, the better prepared we are, the greater our ability to keep our families safe. 

Chick here to view the pamphlet online, or any resident of Los Angeles City can request one from

"Successful disaster preparedness begins with having a plan, and exercising it. The OK/HELP sign is a great step toward being ready. LAFD is always there to help you learn about disaster planning at," - Fire Chief Brian Cummings. 


Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD: The Simple Facts About Fire

Monday, October 15, 2012 |

Every day, people in Los Angeles experience the horror of fire. But most people don't understand fire. Only when we know the true nature of fire can we prepare ourselves and our families.

Each year there are an estimated 2,560 U.S. fire deaths in residential buildings.

The Los Angeles Fire Department and the United States Fire Administration believe that fire deaths can be reduced by teaching people the simple facts about fire...

Fire is FAST!
There is little time!

In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill an entire house. In minutes, a house can be engulfed in flames. Most fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.

Fire is HOT!
Heat is more threatening than flames.

A fire's heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin. In five minutes a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover.

Fire is DARK!
Fire isn't bright, it's pitch black.

Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you've lived in for years.

Fire is DEADLY!
Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do.

Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

Fire Safety Tips:

In the event of a fire, remember time is the biggest enemy and every second counts! Escape first, then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and designate a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room. Practice feeling your way out with your eyes closed. Never stand up in a fire, always crawl low under the smoke and try to keep your mouth covered. Never return to a burning building for any reason; it may cost you your life.

Finally, be sure to install and properly maintain smoke alarms to dramatically increase your chance of surviving a fire. Talking about fire prevention and survival with your family, and practicing your home escape plan is something that may not be able to wait for tomorrow.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

The Final Journey: Space Shuttle Endeavour Arrives Safely at the California Science Center

Sunday, October 14, 2012 |

LOS ANGELES - The Space Shuttle Endeavour has completed its final journey, finishing a 12 mile route on Southern California streets to arrive safely at the California Science Center.

Click here to view a larger map of
the Space Shuttle Endeavour's route to the California Science Center

The California Science Center Foundation and various State and City agencies - including the Los Angeles Fire Department, worked together for months to plan for the safe movement of Endeavour. At 122 feet long, 78 feet wide and 5 stories tall at the tail, Endeavour was one of the largest objects ever transported over city streets in Los Angeles.

The public is encouraged to visit Endeavour after it opens for permanent public exhibit at the California Science Center beginning October 30, 2012. Although the Endeavour exhibit is free of charge, it is recommended that visitors reserve a timed ticket online for $3, or $2 for Science Center members.

To learn more about Endeavour's new home, please visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Echo Park Blaze Damages Businesses, Injures Firefighter

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 |

ECHO PARK - A conflagration in a three-story office building alongside the Hollywood Freeway slowed traffic Tuesday night, as it damaged six businesses and sent one firefighter to the hospital.

The fire was reported on October 9, 2012 at 9:57 PM, bringing the quick response of firefighters to 1625 Palo Alto Street in Echo Park, where they discovered heavy fire to the rear of a tri-level multi-tenant commercial building.

With vegetation and the structure burning intensely on the north side of the building, teams of firefighters made forcible entry from the east and west to search the premises and protect contents while mounting an interior offense on the flames with handlines.

It was a difficult battle.

To assist the firefight and limit the spread of flame, more than a dozen LAFD personnel took to the building's 80' x 100' roof with chainsaws to strategically vent heat and smoke, in an attempt to stem the forward progress of the fire and make the building's interior more tenable for their colleagues below fighting flames and salvaging business records.

LAFD Battles Major Emergency Blaze near Echo Park. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...Despite oppressive conditions on the third and second floor, a tenacious firefighting offense continued there for nearly one-half hour, until physical compromise of the structure forced a well-coordinated transition to defensive operations with the external application of heavy streams.

Though as many as five firefighters were examined for potential injury, only one LAFD member required hospital care for a pair of painful dime-sized burns to his neck. In good condition, he was taken to the hospital by ambulance for first care, where he was treated and released.

No other injuries were reported.

It took the combined effort of 125 Los Angeles Firefighters less than two hours to fully extinguish the flames. The fire was confined to the structure of origin, with the bulk of fire damage limited to the attic, entire third floor and a portion of the second floor. Thanks to comprehensive salvage efforts by LAFD responders, a great number of business records were spared damage from flames or water, as was a good portion of the building's first floor.

The varied damage from fire to the businesses, including a button manufacturer, house of worship, janitorial service, auto loan firm and two printing businesses, is still being tabulated. The cause of this late night blaze remains under active investigation.
Dispatched Units: E220 T20 RA20 E6 RA6 E11 EM11 BC11 E52 T11 E211 E12 E9 T9 E3 T3 E203 RA3 RA803 EM1 E233 T33 E15 DC1 E27 E235 T35 SQ21 BC1 T10 E210 BC5 BC2 RA29 RA46 UR88 E226 T26 E2 AR1 E21 EA1 T94 E294 T64 E264 T29 E229 E17 AR7 AR17 T26 E226 BC11 AR17
[ photos ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Join Los Angeles Firefighters in 'Making Strides' Against Breast Cancer


LOS ANGELES - The journey to end breast cancer starts with a single step. The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department ask you to take that step with them at one of the American Cancer Society 'Making Strides Against Breast Cancer' walks.

Just a few hours of your time will help bring a lifetime of change for people facing breast cancer and their families.

'Making Strides' events take place throughout the year, and are powerful and inspiring opportunities for us to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, increase awareness of what we can do to stay well from breast cancer, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease and provide services.

LAFD Goes Pink 2012. Click to enlarge...
Fire Chief Brian Cummings and LAFD Command Staff
We hope you will join our LAFD family and friends at the 'Making Strides' event being held:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
5:00 PM

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Downtown L.A.
Los Angeles State Historic Park
1245 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

...if that's not possible, we trust you'll join another 'Making Strides' event near you. Learn more at:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Looking for one of those Pink LAFD Duty T-Shirts? Visit

Firefighters: Your Family Needs Two Ways Out

Monday, October 08, 2012 |

If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time would have to get to safety?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of Americans who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home became life threatening. Unfortunately, the time you have to safely escape a fire can often be measured in seconds rather than minutes.

That’s why the Los Angeles Fire Department and NFPA are urging fire escape planning and practice during Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012, urging residents of all ages to:

Practice your fire escape plan with "two ways out" twice-each-year with everyone in your household, including children and those with special needs.

Neighborhood Firefighters suggest you:

  • Draw a map of each level of your home that shows all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Have a plan for everyone in your home. Discuss and practice your plan with overnight guests.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them.
  • Repeat the mantra 'Get Low and Go!' and 'Get Out and Stay Out!' year-round so that it becomes instinctive for those of all ages to crawl below smoke and gather at your pre-determined outside meeting place in the event of a fire.
  • Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Use the ladder only in a real emergency.
  • Practice your fire escape plan at night and during daytime hours.
Learn more ways to keep your family safe at:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Sweeps Through Sherman Oaks Florist

Sunday, October 07, 2012 |

SHERMAN OAKS - A section of busy Ventura Boulevard was closed for more than 2 hours on Sunday evening, as firefighters battled a greater alarm fire at a popular floral store.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 8:38 PM on October 7, 2012 to 13838 Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, where they discovered heavy smoke showing from a row of one-story businesses.

LAFD crews quickly took to the roof to perform strategic vertical ventilation of heat and smoke, as their colleagues forced entry into the closed florist to battle entrenched flames in the rear of the business.

LAFD Mark's Garden Fire (Sherman Oaks) 10/7/12
© Photo courtesy NickFD11 on Flickr
The well-coordinated effort of seventy-one Los Angeles Firefighters, under the command of LAFD Assistant Chief Andrew Fox, confined flames within the business of origin. They extinguished the fire in just 27 minutes.

No injuries were reported.

Fire loss to Mark's Garden is still being tabulated. The fast-moving blaze has been categorized as accidental, and is considered to be electrical in nature.
Dispatched Units: E278 T78 RA78 E288 E88 T88 RA88 EM14 BC14 E102 E99 E239 T39 BC10 DC3 E260 T60 E93 SQ21 BC5 E108 E227 T27 EM9 E89 E289 T89 UR88 BC4 AR2
[ photos ] [ photos ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Goes Pink - and So Can You!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 |

The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) are pleased to join forces to promote and support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Los Angeles Firefighters will proudly wear distinctive pink t-shirts while on-duty October 8-10, 2012 to raise public awareness of this devastating disease, and to support those personally effected. Their hope is to reach thousands of people with the lifesaving message that cancer prevention and early detection can mean the difference between life and death.

Breast Cancer Facts to Consider
•  Breast Cancer in L.A. County is 3 times higher that of the next leading cancer.
•  Second leading cause of mortality among Caucasian, African American, and Asian / Pacific Islander females.
•  Leading cause of mortality among Latina/ Hispanic women in L.A. County.
•  Late diagnosis carries a survival rate of less than 7%.
•  Early diagnosis and treatment has a survival rate of over 91%.
•  #1 mortality rate of females between the age of 21-40 years of age in L.A. County.

Order Yours Today $20

Please join your neighborhood firefighters in supporting this cause. Click on the link below to purchase a LAFD/Local-112 Pink T-Shirt and promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department