SAN FERNANDO - The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) including a Hazardous-Materials (Haz-Mat) Team battled a small fire on October 30, 2013 in a one-story commercial building that prompted a precautionary evacuation of three city blocks. Three people suffered minor injuries.
At 9:09 AM the LAFD responded to a Chemical Investigation inside a one-story commercial building at 1133 Celis Street, doing business as Envision Life CALIFA. The owner had accidentally spilled a 55-gallon drum of 50% percent hydrogen peroxide solution, a strong oxidizer (a 3% solution is common for medical use). It slowly began reacting with the petroleum products in the carpet and approximately one hour into the incident it spontaneously combusted. Smoke and gas began to emit from the structure. The scene was upgraded to a Hazardous-Materials incident and additional personnel were immediately requested.
Firefighters then ensured all occupants were out of the structure, took immediate precautions with Self Contained Breathing Apparatus to protect themselves from any harmful smoke, and evacuated nearby businesses as a precaution. Additional crews made a swift interior fire attack and strategically cut holes on the roof for ventilation. The flames were quickly extinguished and the water runoff was contained so as not to affect the environment. Over 75 firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Don Frazeur, handled the incident.
A total of three city blocks were evacuated as a precaution while the extensively trained hazardous materials firefighters assessed the severity of the problem. The evacuated area was scaled down in the afternoon, but some evacuations were still in effect near the business while arrangements were made to dispose of the hazardous material. The incident was soon declared "static" and turned over to the building owner, the City of San Fernando, and the Los Angeles County Health Haz-Mat department.
A total of three men suffered minor injury, all declined to be transported for hospital treatment. The 64-year-old owner of the business was treated for burns to his hands; a 36-year-old man was treated for smoke irritation; and a 30-year-old man was treated for eye irritation.
The cause was considered accidental and the dollar loss was estimated at $40,000 ($20,000 structure and $20,000 contents).
Dispatched Units: T75 E275 E87 SQ87 BC702 JT5 JT6 BC722 RA875 RA75 E287 T87 E94 E95 EM15 E98 E298 T98 E7 DC3 BC12 T94 E294 HM94 HM75 SQ95 RA87 RA894 DC1 AR1 BC15 AR2 E39 E289 T89 RA81 RA70 EM10 EM17 RA94 RT83 RA83 E90Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department