ENCINO - Over 100 Los Angeles Firefighters battled a huge blaze raging at an Encino home that injured two Captains and two Firefighters on October 30, 2013.
At 3:44 PM the LAFD received multiple 9-1-1 calls for a Structure Fire burning at 4440 Balboa Boulevard, south of Ventura Boulevard, in the hills northeast of the Encino Reservoir. As firefighters hurried up curvy narrow roads, a daunting plume of smoke could be seen in the distance, prompting responding firefighters to radio, "Loom Up", alerting the additional resources responding there was a working fire. They arrived to find a large three-story above ground Tudor style home at the end of a long steep private driveway with heavy fire on the third story. Additional resources were immediately requested as firefighters began a relentless aggressive interior fire attack.
Some firefighters had to hike equipment a 1/4 mile uphill to the structure and utilize chainsaws to strategically cut several holes in the sturdy wood shake shingle roof to reduce heat, smoke, fire and gases inside the structure. Additional firefighters ensured no one was inside the burning structure by performing a rapid search and rescue of the 7,779 square-foot home. A group of firefighters formed a Rapid Intervention Company and stood by with Firefighter/Paramedics in the event any of their own needed immediate rescue. Additional companies ensured flames didn't spread to nearby structures or brush, while others protected and saved what the homeowner referred to as "important belongings" in his home office. Firefighters long and relentless attack forced them to utilized entire air bottles, then go outside the blaze to get new bottles so they could reenter the fight.
Over 125 firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Patrick Butler, fully extinguished the flames in two hours and 20 minutes. The Los Angeles Fire Department remained on scene through out the night.
Two fire Captains, one with a significant extremity injury and the other with dehydration, and two Firefighter/Paramedics, one with chest pain and the other with a moderate extremity injury were transported to local hospitals. Only one firefighter was released back to duty that day, the others required further evaluation and treatment. No civilians were injured. Two pet dogs were found beyond medical help on the third floor.
The cause of the afternoon blaze is considered accidental in nature but remains under active investigation. The estimated dollar loss is still being tabulated.
Dispatched Units: E83 RA83 E88 T88 E288 RA88 E109 EM9 BC17 BC10 E100 E293 T93 E39 E93 T39 E239 DC3 EM11 BC15 UR88 T27 E227 UR27 E3 BC5 RA827 E273 T73 E90 RA93 RA100 EM4 H0D H5 EM10 E87 E298 T98 AR2 EA1 RA99 RA39 RM3 E12 E289 T89 E98 E60 RA73 RT83 RA90 T37 E237 BC10 T5 E205Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department