LAFD Halts Fast Moving Fire in Encino Commercial Building

Friday, November 30, 2012 |

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.

Los Angeles Firefighters Battle Encino FireJust 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.

Los Angeles Firefighters Battle Encino FireSoon 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 AR2
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Discusses the Possible Breach of Protected Information

Thursday, November 29, 2012 |

LOS ANGELES - At 9:00 am today, the Los Angeles Fire Department discussed the possible breach of protected information at LAFD's Fire Commission Board Room.

We hope the following detailed information provides a better understanding, along with some peace of mind to those concerned... 

On October 1, 2012, a provider of technology based services to the City of Los Angeles and its Advanced Data Processing Inc. (ADPI) West and Intermedix Technologies subsidiaries of ADPI, learned that individual account information from the Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance billing system was illegally accessed. ADPI assisted authorities in the identification of the employee who admitted to the crime. 

The LAFD learned of this information on October 12, 2012. Pursuant to federal law, LAFD sent notification letters to the individuals whose information was disclosed without authorization. ADPI has sent letters by first class mail to the affected individuals and has posted a notice on its website with links to information regarding the incident and resources to aid affected individuals.

ADPI has reassured the LAFD that they have reinforced the importance of the security and confidentiality of sensitive personal data with all of their employees.

Please note, Intermedix has retained ID Experts and has activated telephone lines and a website to provide information to aid affected patients. Those with additional questions or concerns can call 1-877-264-9622, Monday through Friday from 9 am – 9 pm Eastern time or visit:

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fast Moving Arleta Blaze Displaces Seven, Injures Firefighters

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 |

ARLETA - A fast-moving house fire sparked by the careless use of a barbecue, displaced seven residents and sent three Los Angeles Firefighters to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 12:48 PM on November 28, 2012 to 9205 Dorrington Avenue in Arleta, where firefighters discovered fire to the rear of a one-story home. Intense flames had consumed an 8' x 15' fabric canopy stretched over a tall metal frame that abutted the residence, allowing flames to extend into the building prior to the Fire Department's arrival.

Three Firefighters Injured Battling Arleta Blaze. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...During the skirmish with flames, one firefighter fell nine feet through fire-weakened eaves at the southwest edge of the home, squarely striking a colleague on the ground and grazing another before landing on a ragged pile of debris outside the building. The three men sustained injuries that ranged from painful to potentially debilitating, yet were considered non-life threatening. The trio were taken to an area hospital where at least one was expected to remain for observation.

LAFD crews reunited two small dogs with the homeowner as they battled the flames, which were extinguished in just 16 minutes - but not before causing $100,000 damage ($70,000 structure & $30,000 contents) to the home, which was not equipped with fire sprinklers.

No other injuries were reported. The American Red Cross provided temporary placement assistance to the three adults and four children displaced by the blaze.

The cause of the fire is considered accidental. Responders attribute the blaze to careless placement of the barbecue beneath a fabric canopy, combined with unsafe handling of ignited charcoal.

Dispatched Units: E7 E81 RA75 T90 RA890 EM12 BC12 E98 T98 E298 RA7 RA898 E275 E289 T89 DC3 E290
[ photos ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Firefighters Urge Storm Preparedness


With the arrival of seasonal rain, the Los Angeles Fire Department is encouraging local residents to take the precautions necessary to protect themselves from injury and their property from storm damage.

When rainstorms impact the Los Angeles area, flood control channels, rivers and arroyos can quickly fill with fast-moving water and debris, creating a potentially life-threatening danger to anyone who gets caught or swept away. It is against the law to be inside most flood control channels in Los Angeles, regardless of the weather.

We urge you to visit the EDIS website and listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations for weather information and emergency bulletins.


  • Ensure that all drains, gutters and downspouts are functioning properly. This is especially important for flat-roofed buildings.
  • Keep ground-level drains and drainage areas (ditches, swales, small channels) free of debris.
  • Move valuable or easily damaged items away from low-lying areas that may be prone to flooding.
  • Establish household supplies (bucket, mop, towel and tarpaulin) to minimize damage from sudden leaks or stormwater seepage.
  • Identify and collect important documents that you may require in case of evacuation.
  • Contact your insurance agent to assure that your flood and storm coverage is adequate and in effect. Confirm the 24-hour contact, policy and claim numbers for your insurer(s). Place that information in your cell phone and keep a printed copy in the glove box of your car.
  • Review your Family Emergency Plan and prepare an Emergency Supply Kit that includes food, water, medications, flashlight, battery-powered radio, rain gear and first aid supplies.
  • Plan for the needs of pets at home and if you are evacuated.
  • Monitor local news for the status of streets, highways and transit systems.
  • Identify multiple safe routes from your home or workplace to high ground.
  • Check your car's wipers, lights, tire inflation and tread wear to assure safe operation, and keep your vehicle fueled in case power is cutoff to local fueling stations.
  • Be prepared to operate your vehicle safely or use public transit in conditions altered by weather.
  • Establish out-of-state family contacts so that friends and relatives can determine your location and status.
  • If necessary, consult an engineer or licensed contractor to design or build permanent water and debris control systems for your property.
  • Landscape slope areas with plants that are fire retardant and suitable for erosion control.
  • Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, hand tools and other materials handy for addressing stormwater issues.


  • Avoid the urge to sightsee. Remind all household members not to play or linger near flood control channels and storm drains.
  • Do not walk through flowing water. Drowning is the number-one cause of flood deaths, mostly during flash floods. Currents can be deceptive; six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area or bypass road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed-out.
  • If you become stranded in your car, stay with your vehicle and move to the hood or roof if water continues to rise.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. A common flood killer is electrocution. Electrical currents can travel through water.
  • Report downed power lines in the City of Los Angeles to the Department of Water and Power (1-800-DIAL-DWP) or emergency officials.

  • Avoid getting into this dangerous situation.
  • Remain calm. Don't waste energy yelling for help after someone has spotted you.
  • Get ready to be rescued.
  • Try to float on your back with your legs straight and your feet pointed downstream.
  • Use your legs to shove yourself away from obstructions.
  • Keep your head up so that you can see where you are going.
  • Watch for obstacles and debris! If a tree or other stationary object is blocking the channel, forcing water over it, try to flip over on your stomach and approach the obstacle head-on, crawling over the top of it.
  • Most victims in swift water die when they get pinned against obstacles or get trapped in submerged debris and vegetation.

  • Do not go into the water after the victim.
  • Do not try to pull the victim out with your hands, rope or similar device. Do not attach anything to yourself and toss it to a victim in the water. The force of the current will pull you in.
  • If possible, throw a floatation device to the victim, such as a boogie board, Styrofoam ice chest, basketball or other unattached object.
  • Immediately call 9-1-1.
  • Tell the 9-1-1 operator that someone fell into the channel and is being swept downstream. Say that "swift water rescue teams" need to respond.
  • Give accurate information about where and when you saw the victim and what the victim was wearing.
  • Though members of your Los Angeles Fire Department are specially trained and equipped to respond to water rescues, not every victim survives. We therefore remind you that when it comes to swift moving water: 'Stay Away and Stay Alive!'

    City of Los Angeles residents should call 3-1-1 or (213) 473-3231 to report potholes, downed street trees, inoperative traffic signals, clogged street drains and any storm-related property damage requiring an inspection or action by City of Los Angeles officials.

    If, despite your best efforts, you become a victim of storm or floodwater damage, please visit LAFD.ORG for helpful recovery tips.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Provides Sandbags for Homeowners


September 2007 mudslide in Los Angeles. © Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...The Los Angeles area is periodically subject to floods that result in property damage. The potential for mudslides and debris flow is greatly increased near recent wildfires.

Los Angeles residents - especially those in foothill and low-lying communities, are encouraged to prepare their properties in advance of coming rainstorms.

In an effort to help, the Los Angeles Fire Department is making ready-to-fill sandbags available at all Neighborhood Fire Stations. Sand may also be available at several of these fire stations and convenient Bureau of Street Services locations.

Properly filled and placed sandbags are best used to divert (rather than dam) moving water, redirecting storm and debris flow away from property improvements.

While the City can provide homeowners with empty sandbags and sand to protect their property, the City does not fill, load or place sandbags for individual homeowners.

Those requiring additional sand, sandbags and supplies may wish to contact a local home improvement store or building supply center, many of which will deliver flood preparedness and debris control aids directly to where they are needed.

We remind you that sandbagging and flood control is a labor intensive process that can lead to injury. Please follow important safety guidelines and consider hiring a licensed contractor for any large or special needs.

Homeowner's Guide to Erosion Control

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Small Plane Crashes on Cal State Northridge Campus

Sunday, November 25, 2012 |

NORTHRIDGE - The crash of a small single-engine plane attempting to make an emergency landing on a college athletic field Sunday afternoon, sent the plane's two occupants to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Los Angeles Fire Department received an emergency call from the Control Tower at Van Nuys Airport at 3:09 PM on November 25, 2012, reporting a small aircraft down on the campus of California State University Northridge (CSUN), 2.5 miles northwest of the airport.

Aviation authorities stated the Cessna 206, a six-seat single engine airplane with two persons aboard, was traveling from Novato, California to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, when an in-flight emergency was declared.

Witnesses describe the pilot attempting to land the ailing aircraft on the athletic fields that occupy the northeast section of CSUN's South Campus. The plane quickly traversed the fields, before striking a chain link fence and a tree, which sheared the Cessna's left wing and caused the craft to overturn. Amazingly, there were no injuries on the ground, and no campus structures damaged. Thick smoke seen as the airplane came to a rest soon dissipated, and what was initially believed to be a small fire, may have simply been burning oil.

Small Plane Crashes on Athletic Field at CSUN Campus. © Photo by Juan Guerra. Click to view more...Several bystanders came to the immediate aid of the male pilot and female passenger, assisting them from the wreckage. The Los Angeles Fire Department arrived quickly to abate the fire hazard and provide medical care to the pilot and passenger, who were described as in fair condition with non-life threatening injuries. The two were taken by LAFD ambulance to an area hospital.

The Fire Department remained on-site for more than four hours to assure campus safety, minimize environmental harm and preserve the scene for a coordinated investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.
Dispatched Units: E70 RA70 E103 E287 T87 E87 T73 E273 RA104 HR56 EM15 BC15 UR88 DC3 H8
[ photos ] [ slideshow ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

The Holiday Season - Time to Assess Your Needs as a Caregiver

Saturday, November 24, 2012 |

While most realize that firefighters play a critical role in emergencies, the proud title of Caregiver is by no means restricted to public safety or health care professionals.

As we gather with family and friends this holiday season, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department ask you to join them in a spirit of compassion and prevention, by frankly assessing and addressing the medical, social and safety needs of those closest to you.

Whether an elderly or infirm person - or a dependant child, our time together during the holidays allows us to both appreciate the challenges before us, and most importantly to ask for help.

Along with statewide resources in California, including our regional 2-1-1 system, the Federal Government provides information to help family and informal caregivers maintain the comfort, wellness and safety of others. To learn more, visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Dead Body Found & Firefighter Injured in Canoga Park Business Blaze

Thursday, November 22, 2012 |

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.

LAFD Finds Body After Canoga Park Business Fire; 1 Firefighter InjuredThe 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 JT3
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Encourage Kitchen and Cooking Safety

Thursday, November 15, 2012 |

Did you know? Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment.

Los Angeles Firefighters understand the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. That's why we are stressing the importance of kitchen safety, especially during holidays when there is increased activity and people at home.

It is our hope that the following eight points will help your family enjoy mealtime, while greatly reducing the chances of injury.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove-top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Keep children 3 feet away from the hot stove.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Nothing saddens a firefighter more than to see a child suffer a needless injury. We know many kids love to be involved in holiday preparations, therefore we encourage having activities that keep children out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles or books can keep them engaged, or provide preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.

Something you may not of thought about...

Ensure a foodborne illness does not become part of your holiday memories.  Advice on preparing and serving a variety of meats and side dishes during the holidays without spreading foodborne illness are available online that discuss roasted meats, stuffing, mail order food, and other topics. You can even order a free print kit that includes Let's Talk Turkey, Cooking for Groups, and a handy magnet that tells you the recommended internal temperatures for some common foods.

We hope you safely enjoy friends and family, share a good meal, conversation, and laughter.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Firefighters & National Diabetes Month

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 |

Los Angeles Firefighters responded to over 700,000 emergencies last year, most of which were medical in origin. Assisting people with a diabetic emergency is not uncommon. About 26 million Americans are living with diabetes and an additional 79 million are at risk for developing it.
Now is the time to take charge.
If you or a loved one is living with diabetes, take time during November, National Diabetes Month, to go over a daily care plan as well as a care plan during an illness or emergency. Small changes can make a big difference in preventing health challenges today and in the future.
For more information about diabetes read Top Ten Diabetes Risk Factors from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and this statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on November 14, World Diabetes Day.

Free toolkits are also available to help people keep their diabetes under control. 

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Pull Dead Body from Canoga Park Apartment Fire

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 |

CANOGA PARK - Los Angeles Firefighters quickly extinguished an apartment fire, where an adult female was found dead.

Just before 3:00 pm on November 13, 2012, firefighters responded to a Structure Fire at 6331 Glade Avenue. A medium amount of black smoke was billowing out of one unit on the third floor of a very large three-story center hallway apartment complex.

First arriving firefighters whom were familiar with the location, strategically drove down a back U-shaped drive way, allowing for quick access to the involved unit. Firefighters performed a drop-bag operation to lift hose-lines to the third floor and rapidly extinguish the flames, while colleagues raised 35' ladders and climbed to the roof.

After an immediate Search & Rescue operation, a 46 year-old female was located sitting on the ground against a mattress, in the small studio apartment. Firefighters pulled her out of the smoke filled room, however, sadly she was determined dead on scene.

A total of 45 firefighters, under the direction of Battalion Chief Wes Elder, extinguished the fire in just 13 minutes, confining it to the unit of origin.

There were no security doors, window bars or obvious non-fire factors to impede the woman from exiting the home.

A legally required smoke alarm was located, however it's functional status could not be immediately determined. The 42 year-old apartment was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.

The cause remains under active investigation by LAFD's Arson Section, however there is no suspicious circumstances noted. The estimated dollar loss is $15,000 ($10,000 structure & $5,000 contents).

A positive identification of the deceased woman, as well as the precise cause, time and manner of her death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

Dispatched Units: E105 T105 RA105 E84 E95 E106 RA96 E293 T93 EM14 BC15 BC14 E10 EM10 E305 AR2 AR23 AR11 RA105

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Firefighters Battle Massive Brentwood Blaze that Injures 2


BRENTWOOD - Just before noon on Monday, November 11, 2012, Los Angeles Firefighters responded to a Structure Fire at 1225 Chickory Lane, where a large two-story hillside Single Family Dwelling was fully engulfed in flames. Behind the residence, a small amount of medium to heavy brush was also burning, and two nearby homes were exposed.

Due to high wind activity and brush surrounding the area, additional ground and air resources were quickly added. First arriving firefighters aggressively attacked a difficult and stubborn fire that burned through the floor and attic of the 2,289 square-foot home.

A total of 98 Los Angeles Firefighters, under the direction of Deputy Chief Andrew Fox, ensued a hour long battle to extinguish the intense flames and prevent its spread to nearby homes.

The 51 year-old house was severely damaged, and the Department of Building & Safety Red Tagged the building, deeming it unsafe to enter.

A Fire Watch was established due to weather conditions, requiring firefighters to remain on-scene through the night and rotate every four hours to ensure there was no rekindle.

Two occupants, a 95 year-old male and a 90 year-old female, suffered minor smoke inhalation and were rapidly treated and transported to a local hospital in good condition.

The residence is considered a total loss with an estimated dollar amount of $1.25 million ($750,000 for Structure and $500,000 for contents). LAFD Arson investigators concluded the cause was undetermined, however it remains an open investigation.
Dispatched Units: RA19 RA37 E59 LF69 LF92 E109 EM9 BC9 BC14 E62 E19 LF37 H2 H4 E90 DC3 E23 E43 E58 E63 E88 E71 SQ21 BC10 BC2 RA59 RT83 RA903 AR2 
Submitted by Shawn Lenske and Erik Scott, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

Los Angeles Firefighters Rescue Victims From Sun Valley House Blaze

Saturday, November 10, 2012 |

SUN VALLEY - Los Angeles Firefighters quickly extinguish a house blaze that injured five, one critically.

Five Injured, Two Hospitalized by Sun Valley BlazeSummoned by a 9-1-1 call at 12:18 AM on November 10, 2012, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded quickly to 8919 Stanwin Avenue in Sun Valley, to discover a one-story residence, with heavy fire showing. The structure was of typical 1950's stucco construction, with a hip-style roof, and four bedrooms, one of which was converted from a large 20' x 14' enclosed patio.

LAFD crews swiftly took to the roof to perform strategic vertical ventilation of heat and smoke, as their colleagues forced entry into the house to battle the well entrenched flames in the living room, enclosed patio-room, and kitchen. Four residents were inside when the blaze broke out.

Firefighters made an aggressive search and rescue operation of the 1,827 square-feet residence and successfully rescued the most critically injured from the front bedroom, and ensured all other occupants were out safely.

It took the well-coordinated effort of 45 Los Angeles Firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Daniel McCarty, just 21 minutes to extinguish the flames before they could spread to nearby residences.

A total of five adults were injured. Two were occupants and three were neighbors: A 50 year-old female suffered 2nd & 3rd degree burns to 25% of her body, and was rapidly treated and transported to a local hospital in critical condition. A 45 year-old male suffered a minor respiratory injury and was treated and transported to local hospital in fair to serious condition. Three neighbors suffered minor cuts to their hands after attempting to rescue the victims, and declined transport to the hospital.

Five Injured, Two Hospitalized by Sun Valley BlazeAll four residents of the house fire were displaced, only two were injured.

Smoke alarms were located in the residence, however their functional status was not readily determined, and no smoke alarms were found in or immediately outside the room where the critically injured were rescued. There were no obvious non-fire factors to impair the occupants egress from the dwelling, which was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson Section.

Dispatched Units: E289 E89 T89 RA889 E77 RA77 E7 EM14 BC14 E81 RA81 E39 E298 T98 AR2 AR12 AR17
[ photos ]

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Damages Building on James Monroe High School Campus

Friday, November 09, 2012 |

NORTH HILLS - A pre-dawn fire on the campus of James Monroe High School damaged portions of a classroom building early Friday morning.

Summoned by a 9-1-1 call from a passerby who noted smoke at 2:41 AM on November 9, 2012, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded swiftly to 9229 Haskell Avenue in North Hills, to discover fire within a large one-story building on the south side of the campus.

It took the well-coordinated effort of 94 Los Angeles Firefighters just 45 minutes to quell the flames within a wood shop and an adjacent hallway. No injuries were reported.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.
Dispatched Units: E290 E90 T90 RA90 E7 RA7 EM15 BC10 E81 E275 T75 E87 E287 T87 E103 DC3 BC12 SQ87 BC15 EL83 AR2 E239 T39 E298 T98 EM17 E288 T88 E89 UR88 RA88 RA889 BC14 RT83
[ photos ] [ photos ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Port of Los Angeles to Host Veterans Appreciation Festival

Thursday, November 08, 2012 |

The Los Angeles Fire Department welcomes you join firefighters and their families this Saturday on the waterfront in San Pedro, as the City of Los Angeles hosts the First Annual Veterans Appreciation Festival:

Saturday, November 10, 2012
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Berth 87, Port of Los Angeles
250 South Harbor Boulevard
San Pedro, CA 90731

Presented by Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilman Buscaino, the Port of Los Angeles and national veterans service and advocacy groups, the fun-filled afternoon will allow those of all ages to express appreciation to the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces. Highlights include:

This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome!

Paid parking is available at Swinford Street and Harbor Boulevard, and free parking can be found at 22nd Street and Miner Street. For complete information visit:

[ event flyer ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Warehouse Fumes in Lincoln Heights Send 17 to Hospital

Sunday, November 04, 2012 |

LINCOLN HEIGHTS - Fumes sickened eighteen workers at a massive Lincoln Heights warehouse operated by a fashion retailer on Sunday morning, sending seventeen to the hospital for non-life threatening illness.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was initially summoned at 9:53 AM on November 4, 2012 to investigate one person ill at the 'Forever 21' distribution center, located at 3880 North Mission Road in Lincoln Heights.

Learning that a foul odor within the expansive complex may have caused the one woman to take ill - and others to experience sudden malaise, the first arriving LAFD crew escalated the incident to a hazardous materials investigation, ultimately bringing 102 Fire Department responders, including an LAFD Hazardous Materials Task Force, to assist the scores of employees working in the nearly 2 million square foot warehouse and adjoining offices.

Establishing a command post uphill and upwind of the business, Battalion Chief Al Ward coordinated the prompt effort to assist the ill and identify the source of the irritating odor.

Though the vast majority of a hundred-or-more workers were without symptoms, LAFD Paramedics quickly triaged employees to isolate eighteen experiencing headache, nausea and vomiting. Of the 18, one declined further medical care, and was released at the scene. The remaining seventeen were taken by Fire Department ambulance to regional hospitals in good to fair condition. No other injuries were reported.

LAFD Hazardous Materials experts, fully clad in protective gear, soon determined a concern verbalized by workers of a "cleaning solution" placed in a dumpster not to be the irritant.

Using sophisticated handheld sensors and hazardous product identification tools, the well-trained LAFD HazMat Team continued a meticulous search of the premises to determine that fumes from an earlier roof repair involving adhesives, as well as vapor from spray painting of a large basement area, were drawn into the building's ventilation system, causing the sudden odor sensed by distant employees.

Pursuant of protocol, LAFD requested the County of Los Angeles Fire Department Health Hazardous Materials Division to conclude the investigation and formally declare the industrial building fit to be reoccupied.
Dispatched Units: E47 RA1 RA2 E17 E221 E21 T21 SQ21 EM1 BC2 E12 RA21 RA17 RA12 RA844 RA25 RA804 RA4 RA3 RA209 EM11 EM13 BC11 RA9 EA1 DC1 E2 E201 T1 E15 T10 E210 BC1 E202 T2 BC5 BC18 RA821 RA47 RA15 RA20 CM3 T15 E215
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Community Breakfast to Honor Women of the LAFD

Saturday, November 03, 2012 |

Then LAFD Battalion Chief Roxanne Bercik circa 2003The Board members of the non-profit Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation cordially invite you to join community leaders and members of our fire service family at a benefit breakfast honoring the women of the LAFD.

Thursday, November 8, 2012
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Four Seasons Hotel
300 South Doheny Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90048

LAFD Deputy Chief Roxanne Bercik will deliver the keynote speech at a warm and welcoming event that highlights the contributions of women firefighters at the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that furthers the capabilities of all LAFD members in serving the community.

All are welcome. The cost is $50.00 per person. LAFD women receive complimentary admission. Kindly RSVP to: (310) 552-4171.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Cooking Fire in Cal State College Dorm Burns 5 Women, 2 Critically

Friday, November 02, 2012 |

EL SERENO - Five young women suffered burns while cooking in a Cal State L.A. College dorm kitchen, located at at 5425 East Dobbs Street. Just after 8:00 PM, on November 2, 2012, three college students and two friends were cooking a large amount of fried food when the cooking oil caught fire and flashed, splattering the women, causing burns.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived at the dorm, located in a large two-story apartment complex, to find the fire quickly burned itself out, leaving behind residual black smoke & soot around the stove, along with slight charring above it. 

After ensuring the scene was safe, firefighters began rapidly treating the most critical of the five burn victims, whom ranged from 18 to 24 years-old. The severity of burns range from slight 1st degree to significant 2nd degree burns covering 20% of the body.

Over 45 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Al Ward, quickly handled the incident. Due to the number injured, LAFD Arson Investigators along with the Cal State Police Department are performing an investigation.

Dispatched Units: E16 RA1 E2 T2 E202 RA844 EM1 BC2 E12 T1 E201 RA1 RA804 RA25 EM11 AR1 RA844 RA4 RA25 EM1
The Los Angeles Fire Department realizes the kitchen is a frequent place for families and friends to spend time together, but remind that it can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the house, especially if you don't practice safe cooking behaviors.

Cooking equipment, most often a range or stove-top, is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States.

Safe Cooking Tips

It's a recipe for serious injury or even death to wear loose clothing (especially hanging sleeves), walk away from a cooking pot on the stove, or leave items that can catch fire, such as potholders or paper towels, around the stove. Whether you are cooking the family holiday dinner or a snack for the children, practicing safe cooking behaviors will help keep you and your family safe.
Watch What You Heat
  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
  • Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won't be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from your stove-top.
  • Keep the stove-top, burners, and oven clean.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby counter-tops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
Prevent Scalds and Burns
  • To prevent spills due to overturn of appliances containing hot food or liquids, use the back burner when possible and/or turn pot handles away from the stove's edge. All appliance cords need to be kept coiled and away from counter edges.
  • Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stove-tops. Never use wet oven mitts or potholders as they can cause scald burns.
  • Replace old or worn oven mitts.
  • Treat a burn right away, putting it in cool water. Cool the burn for 3 to 5 minutes. If the burn is bigger than your fist or if you have any questions about how to treat it, seek medical attention right away.
Remember, cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States, so please do so safely. 

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department