An aggressive attack ensued that was concentrated on the basement area near a laundry room and a simultaneous search was performed to ensure all residents and pets were safely out. Firefighters had a long and exhaustive battle ahead...
Flames continued to creep inside the walls and climb up pipe alleys, around 3" gaps in fire blocking in some places, and quietly across the attic of the structure. Firefighters thoroughly went through all 16 smoke charged apartment units using thermal imaging cameras to sense heat and flames hidden behind the walls, and remained on scene for hours suppressing stubborn hot-spots and flare-ups. In approximately two and a half hours 155 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Charles Butler, were confident of a complete knock down of the blaze and performed a thorough overhaul and salvage of property. Then a list was created of resident's important belongings inside and firefighters searched through the debris to find them and bring them to the owners.
Several arson investigators remained on scene for hours carefully combing through debris, examining fire patterns, using highly trained K9's, and talking with bystanders. The cause of the fire was determined to be arson and it remains under active investigation.
The total estimated dollar loss was $1.2 million ($1,100,000 structure & $100,000 contents). The Department of Building and Safety, "Red Tagged" the structure, deeming it unsafe for entry. The Red Cross arranged temporary housing for the renters in a nearby shelter.
It is important to note that hard wired smoke alarms with battery backup, appropriate to city building code, provided the occupants early detection and allowed for safe self evacuation.
Three firefighters were injured: One suffered burns to his hands, another a laceration to his hand, both were transported to local hospitals. A third firefighter suffered heat exhaustion from the battle and was treated but did not require transport. No civilians were injured.
We strongly encourage anyone with information that may assist the investigative efforts to please contact the Arson Counter-Terrorism Section at (213) 893-9800.
Dispatched Units: E227 T27 RA827 E52 E82 RA26 EM18 BC5 E76 T61 E261 E27 E235 T35 AR2 EA1 E202 T2 E3 E27 E10 E229 T29 E294 T94 RA61 DC3 EM5 BC18 BC14 T3 E203 UR3 E89 UR88 BC1 RA803 RA27 RA41 EM18 E12 E82 E235 T35 RM2 SQ21 RA892 RT59 AR1 AR23 AR9 AR17 E94 T33 E233 E37 T88 E288 RA27 T11 E211(Raw Video Clip)
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department