PICO (MID CITY) - Two firefighters suffered minor injuries today in a fire that heavily damaged a two-story house in the Mid-City section of Los Angeles. The fire broke out just after 2:30 a.m. and structurally compromised the residence at 1846 S. Orange Grove Avenue.
On March 8, 2013, Los Angeles Firefighters quickly arrived to find heavy smoke billowing from the first and second floors, and out of every attic vent of the 65 year-old house. Additional firefighters were immediately requested.
An aggressive interior attack with hose-lines ensued, however the inside stairwell was not accessible due to instability from the flames. Firefighters were then directed to ladder a balcony on the east side of the home to attack the flames on the second floor.
Simultaneously firefighters from Truck Companies performed vertical ventilation, cutting heat holes with chainsaws on the first story roof, then progressed to the second story roof. Roaring flames shot through the openings and the structural integrity began to quickly deteriorate. Firefighters were forced to swiftly exit before a partial roof collapse occurred.
A total of 55 firefighters, all under the command of Battalion Chief Alicia Welch, attacked the intense flames for nearly an hour before they were fully extinguished. Firefighters tirelessly remained on scene throughout the day controlling hot spots.
Due to the structure's severe damage, the home was Red Tagged by Building & Safety (B & S), deeming it unsafe for occupants, including firefighters and Arson Investigators to enter. Over 12 hours later, firefighters left the home in the care of a B & S structural engineer and a private insurance company.
The cause of the early morning blaze remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson section. It does not appear to be suspicious in origin. Due to extensive fire damage the home is expected to be a total loss.
Fortunately, the residence was unoccupied at the time of the fire as the family was away due to the house being scheduled for fumigation at 7:00 am this morning.
Unfortunately, a Fire Captain suffered a knee injury while crawling inside the flame filled structure during fire attack, and a Firefighter was injured as he ascended a 16' ladder to the first floor roof. The ladder slid out from underneath him, causing him to fall onto wet concrete. Breaking his fall was a Firefighter working in the area bellow, whom did not require medical care. Both injured members (Captain & Firefighter) were treated and released at local hospitals.
Chief Welch commended the family for their precautionary wisdom in placing all their important documents in a fireproof safe of which firefighters were able to retrieve. Also commendable was the families close relationship with neighbors, whom quickly notified them of the emergency, assisting firefighters confirmation of no one being trapped in the inferno.
Dispatched Units: E68 RA68 E58 RA858 E261 T61 EM11 BC18 E61 E294 E94 T94 RA61 E26 E226 T26 DC1 BC11 RA58 EM9 AR2 T27 E227 UR27 UR88 BC731 E29 T61 E261Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department