Smoke Alarms Lacking in Deadly Los Angeles Fire

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 |

LOS ANGELES - An elderly man died and a firefighter was injured, when flames erupted in a Los Angeles home Tuesday morning.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 10:43 AM on July 29, 2014 to 1588 West 36th Place in the Exposition Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy smoke showing from a 1,712 square-foot one story home.

Firefighters boldly attacked the flames, finding and rescuing a 90 year-old resident from the inferno, which filled the home from floor-to-ceiling with heat and thick black smoke. Despite the effort of LAFD responders, the man proved beyond medical help and was declared dead at the scene.

Fifty-three firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief James Ruiz were able to fully extinguish the flames in just 31 minutes.

During the firefight, one Los Angeles Firefighter sustained a painful burn injury to his calf. Following assessment and care at a regional burn center, he was treated and released to remain on duty.

No other injuries were reported.

Firefighters found no evidence of functional smoke alarms inside the residence, nor any obvious factors to impede the man's escape. The 104 year-old building - heavily damaged by fire, was not equipped with optional residential fire sprinklers.

A positive identification of the dead man, as well as the cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

As LAFD Investigators combed through smoldering debris, firefighters canvassed the neighborhood as part of LAFD's Smoke Alarm Field Education (SAFE) Program, distributing free smoke alarms and fire safety information.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.
Dispatched Units: E34 RA34 T26 E226 RA826 E215 E15 T15 EM13 BC18 BC6 E46 E26 E229 T29 E294 T94 DC1 BC4 AR1 RA26 RA15 EM1 AR23 AR10 AR11 RT59 RA869 AR21 EM18 EM3 E66
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Monday, July 28, 2014 |

File:Los angeles fire department seal.jpgLOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) was selected Monday to receive a prestigious award from the Secretary of Defense that recognizes the Department for support of its National Guard and military Reserve employees.

The LAFD was one of 15 recipients of this year’s Freedom Award and was chosen by the office of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve from a group of 2,864 nominated employers. LAFD officials will formally receive the award and be honored at the Pentagon on Sept. 26.

“We are proud to support our LAFD employees who also wear the uniform in service of our nation,” said Interim Fire Chief James Featherstone. “We are honored to receive this recognition and owe a tribute to not only our members in the military, but those at home who support them, as well.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, himself a Navy Reservist, said, “I’m proud to see the LAFD receive this well-deserved award for its commitment to employees who serve both our country and our city.”

The LAFD was nominated for the award by Firefighter/Paramedic David Danielson, who also serves as a Senior Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy Reserve Undersea Rescue Command. In his nomination, Danielson cited the efforts of the LAFD on behalf of its 130 employees who are veterans or affiliated with the National Guard and Reserve. He noted that the LAFD staffs a Military Liaison Officer to maintain contact with deployed members of the Department, and recalled the LAFD’s support for him and his family while he was on multiple wartime deployments to Iraq.

“This started as a means to say ‘Thank You’ to the leadership and the men and women of the LAFD,” said Danielson. “Their support of our members who serve in the National Guard and Reserve has been nothing short of exceptional.”

Submitted by Katherine Main, Spokesperson Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Handles Century City Building Collapse

Friday, July 25, 2014 |

CENTURY CITY - The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responded to a partial collapse of a subterranean parking structure on July 25, 2014. The collapse was initially reported to have been caused by a heavy decorative planter falling from a crane. Upon further investigation, it was determined that construction crews working on a landscaping project were using small skip loaders to handle lava rock and dirt. The heavy weight of this material was too much for the structural integrity of the parking garage, contributing to the collapse. No one was injured.

At 7:31 AM, LAFD responded to 10100 W Galaxy Way to find a large multi-building apartment complex over multiple subterranean parking structures. A 50' x 25' portion of a parking structure collapsed when the heavy weight of landscaping materials overcame the structural integrity of the parking garage. A precautionary evacuation of the two nearest residential buildings immediately occurred. Accountability of all residents became top priority.

LAFD Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) specialists performed a systematic search of the impact area along with LAFD K9's to ensure no one was trapped in the parking structure.

USAR along with Building and Safety members worked together to assess the structural integrity of damaged area.

Approximately 100 firefighters remained on scene to ensure public safety, perform an extensive secondary search, and shore up any unstable material in a confined-space environment.

Approximately 80 occupants were displaced for several days  until the safety and structural integrity could be established. LAFD worked with the American Red Cross to assist with any needed rehousing.

The estimated dollar loss is being tabulated.
Dispatched Units: BC18 BC5 BC731 CM2 DC1 E205 E227 E261 E263 E288 E289 E29 E292 E3 E43 E5 E59 E62 E71 EM11 FP312 HL1 HL2 HL3 HL4 HR56 RA5 RA58 RA59 RA68 RA71 RA827 RA892 RA909 RA92 RM4 RT59 RT83 T27 T5 T61 T63 T88 T92 UR27 UR5 UR88 UR89 UT88
Submitted by Eric French and Erik Scott, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD: Keep Hot Weather Safety in Mind

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 |

LOS ANGELES - With a peak in hot weather expected over the next few days, your LAFD Paramedics say: don't underestimate the heat or overestimate your abilities!

The Los Angeles Fire Department encourages you to stay safe during a heat wave by following the links below - and sharing these hot weather safety tips with your family, friends and coworkers:

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Smoke Alarms Allow Sylmar Families to Escape Inferno

Monday, July 21, 2014 |

SYLMAR - One firefighter was hospitalized and eight residents displaced, when flames damaged three condominium units in the northeast San Fernando Valley early Monday morning.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 1:54 AM on July 21, 2014 to 14380 Foothill Boulevard in Sylmar, where firefighters arrived quickly to find one unit of a two story four-unit condominium building well involved with fire.

Neighbors awakened by properly functioning smoke alarmsescaped their homes unscathed prior the Fire Department's arrival.

As flames swept through the common attic of the 4,684 square-foot building, 85 firefighters under the command of Assistant Chief Timothy Manning held the bulk of fire to the unit of fire origin, as well as attic space and ceilings in two adjoining units.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in just 49 minutes.

While attacking the flames, one Fire Engineer sustained a non-life threatening facial injury. He was taken to an area hospital by LAFD ambulance in fair condition. After the blaze was extinguished, a resident asked Paramedics to examine a minor burn to his foot. The man declined treatment or transportation.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross assisted four adults and four children displaced by the blaze with temporary living needs.

Fire loss to the thirty year-old building, which was not equipped with fire sprinklers, is still being tabulated. The prompt initial call to 9-1-1 helped firefighters spare at least $500,000 in property loss among the four condominiums.

The cause of the fire remains under active investigation.
Dispatched Units: E91 RA91 E275 T75 E298 E98 T98 RA898 EM15 BC12 E77 E18 E287 T87 T39 E239 E39 RA98 E81 E290 T90 DC3 BC10 BC15 BC14 E87 E289 T89 RA75 AR2 RA909 EA1
[ photos ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Meet LAFD's Fire Chief-Select; Ralph M. Terrazas

Friday, July 18, 2014 |

We would like to introduce Ralph M. Terrazas, the Fire Chief-select for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). He is currently an LAFD Assistant Fire Chief assigned to the South Division.
In his current assignment as the South Division “A” Platoon Commander, Chief Terrazas is responsible for leading, managing, and training the approximately 500 members on-duty at 54 fire stations throughout seven battalion commands. The South Division Command covers half of the City and includes the complex institutions of the Port of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles International Airport.

Terrazas is a 31-year veteran of the LAFD and during his tenure he has served as a chief officer for 14 years in a variety of field and administrative commands. He established the Department’s Professional Standards Division (PSD), which upgraded and professionalized the LAFD’s disciplinary system; applied metric-based management at the Division and Battalion level to achieve continual improvement and data tracking of specific objectives; led the development and passage of the Proposition “F” Fire Station Bond, which enabled the construction of 19 new LAFD stations; served as the Community Liaison Officer, and is the holder of a U.S. Patent for a “Brush Fire Rate of Spread” tool and an Emmy Award of Excellence for production of a public service announcement program.

Terrazas was born in Long Beach, Calif., and was raised in nearby Wilmington. He is a graduate of Banning High School, where he played on two City Championship football teams. He retains strong ties to the Wilmington community through his founding and support of the Banning High School/LAFD Fire Academy, which has mentored high school students towards successful professional careers for the past 14 years.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration and a Certificate in Fire Protection Administration from San Diego State University. In 1995, he received Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on Human Resource Management from California State University, Los Angeles. He was appointed to the LAFD in December 1983, fulfilling a lifelong goal of a professional career in the fire and EMS service.

Terrazas and his wife Dayna, a registered nurse, have three children and are long-time residents of San Pedro.
James G. Featherstone remains the Interim Fire Chief until Chief Terazzas is confirmed by city council. We expect formal confirmation early August 2014.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

100 LAFD Firefighters Battle Downtown Blaze Revealing Marijuana Growing Operation


DOWNTOWN - Los Angeles firefighters battled a non-injury Greater Alarm blaze in a six-story commercial building housing a plant growing operation on Wednesday evening. Arrests were made.

On July, 17 2014, firefighters were summoned to 421 E 6th Street at 8:17 PM to find fire showing from the third floor of a six story building.

Due to a rapid aggressive attack, the flames were confined to an occupied 1500 square-foot warehouse with a partial converted living space.

One hundred firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Jeffrey Dapper, extinguished the flames in just 14 minutes.

The estimated dollar loss is only $1,500 ($500 content & $1,000 structure). Estimated dollars saved is over $1.5 million.

The cause remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson Section and LAPD Central Division Narcotics. An adult male was arrested for arson and cultivating marijuana plants. An adult female was arrested for a warrant.
Dispatched Units: E9 RA209 E4 RA804 E3 T3 E203 E210 T10 EM1 BC1 BC11 E10 RA809 T9 E17 E211 T11 DC1 EM11 BC18 T27 E227 E27 UR27 UR88 BC5 RA10 RA17 EM13 RA803 AR1 SQ21 T21 E221 JT5.
Submitted by Erik Scott & Eric French, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Battles Intense Blaze at Hollywood Metal Plating Business

Sunday, July 13, 2014 |

HOLLYWOOD - A stubborn fire Sunday morning in an industrial metal plating facility took just over two hours to contain and led to one firefighter going to the hospital.

Two firefighters atop fire engine squirting water on top of a burning building. Copyright Photo by Ryan Babroff. Click to view more...

The Los Angeles Fire Department was called just before 9:00 AM on July 13, 2014, to 1001 North Orange Drive in Hollywood. Firefighters arrived in just 3 minutes to find thick black smoke and fire billowing from Highland Plating Company, a 100' by 150' one story brick building.

Firefighters made an aggressive interior fire attack but were quickly driven back by intense heat and flames. Seven minutes into the battle a coordinated retreat was ordered and the operation took a defensive posture. Firefighters used large diameter hose and water streams from ladder trucks to attack the blaze and apply copious amounts of water.

To combat concerns of run off, Firefighters built a series of dams and filtering systems to reduce contaminants, while Hazardous Materials Firefighters tested both the air and water. Although the plume of smoke could be seen for miles, no evacuations were ordered and air tests found the smoke to be free of dangerous contaminants.
Smoke rises in sky from burning building. Copyright Photo by Mike Meadows. Click to view more...

Nearly 150 Firefighters all under the command of Assistant Chief Timothy Manning had the bulk of the fire extinguished in just over two hours. Firefighters will remain on scene for over 24 hours to address flare ups and douse hot spots. The fire was confined to the building of origin were there was partial roof collapse from the intense blaze. Firefighters managed to save the business office and salvage it's contents.

A firefighter became ill after the intense firefight, in very warm weather, and was transported to the hospital in good condition for evaluation.

A half dozen agencies including LAFD Joint Hazard Assessment Team and LA County Health Haz Mat are working in a collaborative effort to minimize environmental impact and organize clean up, estimated to take up to two days. All Firefighters, equipment, and apparatus had to be decontaminated with a soap and water solution to neutralize the exposure to oxidizers used in metal plating.

The cause of this blaze remains under active investigation by the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson Section. Dollar loss is estimated at $1,800,000.00 ($800,000 structure & $1,000,000.00 contents).
Dispatched Units:E227 E27 T27 RA827 E41 RA41 E261 E61 T61 EM11 BC5 BC11 E52 RA861 E220 T20 E82 RA82 E76 E29 E235 T35 DC3 EM14 EM9 BC14 BC2 T3 E203 UR3 E89 UR88 BC1 SQ21 RA27 RA61 E211 T11 E229 T29 E60 AR2 T26 E226 JT2 E21 T21 E221 JT5 RT59 EA1 HU59 E89 T39 E239 E98 T93 E293 RA909 RT83 SQ87 T10 E210 E26 BC5 FT17 E227 E27 T27 E41 E261 T61 E21 T21 E221 SQ21 RA41

Submitted by Katherine Main, Spokesperson
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Remind You to 'Pool Safely'

Friday, July 04, 2014 |

Click to learn more about Pool Safely...
The Los Angeles Fire Department joins the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and partner agencies in reminding every American to Pool Safely!

Pool Safely is a national public education effort to reduce child drownings, non-fatal submersions and entrapments in swimming pools and spas. Los Angeles Firefighters support this effort through their belief in the campaign slogan:

Simple Steps Save Lives...

The 7 Simple Steps to Pool Safely...

  1. Constant Supervision
  2. Proper Fencing
  3. Pool & Spa Safety Covers
  4. Door, Gate & Pool Alarms
  5. Safety Drain Covers
  6. Swimming Lessons
  7. Learning CPR
To learn more, please visit:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Prepare and Protect Your Pets From Fireworks

Thursday, July 03, 2014 |

Fireworks Exploding in the Sky
With their sensitive hearing, many household pets become terrified by fireworks.

In Los Angeles, it's not uncommon this time of year for firefighters to deal with persons bitten or injured by skittish animals or traffic collisions caused by wayward dogs, cats and horses.

While we encourage attendance at a professional fireworks show, it's best to leave your furry friends at home with someone to watch over them. In fact, now is a good time to prepare your home to safely harbor your pet from frightful sights and sounds associated with Independence Day celebrations:

  • Make sure your pets are wearing proper identification - and consider a microchip. If your pet runs away due to fireworks, you'll have a better chance of recovering them if a sturdy, legible and accurate ID tag is worn.
  • Contact your veterinarian for professional advice in preparing animals for the noisy days to come. For household pets, a quiet and well-secured room with soothing music and your pets favorite toy may be just what the doctor orders. If you’re having visitors over, consider keeping pets in a room that’s off-limits to guests, with plenty of water and food.
  • Take a photograph of your pet and place the telephone numbers for your veterinarian and animal care and control agency near your home phone and in your cell phone. In the event of an escaped animal or crisis, you can contact these professionals promptly for guidance.
  • Even if your animals don’t seem upset by noise, they can still be harmed by burns, injuries and ingestions related to fireworks. Survey your property for hazards, and pay close attention to your pet for any signs of illness or injury.
Within the City of Los Angeles, our friends at the Department of Animal Services can be reached directly at (888) 452-7381 or by calling 3-1-1.

Should you experience an emergency that endangers human life or property and demands immediate attention, your Police or Fire Department may be contacted via 9-1-1.

Please join us in making sure that every member of your household celebrates safely!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department