An early morning fire at a South Los Angeles strip mall tragically took the lives of two people.
At 5:35AM on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to 4709 S Broadway St for a reported structure fire. Firefighters arrived to find a 15,470 square foot, one story commercial strip mall with one unit well involved in fire.
Three separate safety devices on the only exit created a forcible entry challenge for firefighters. A security “scissors” door, rolling steel door and double front doors were all padlocked and required crews to cut their way in prior to initiating fire attack. Simultaneously, truck companies performed vertical ventilation on the roof which prevented the fire from spreading horizontally across the building.
Once firefighters made entry and initiated an aggressive attack on the fire, a search began for reported occupants still in the unit. Crews located an adult female and adult male, quickly pulled them from the debris and commenced lifesaving medical treatment while rapidly transporting to a local hospital. Despite the best efforts of all personnel involved, they were beyond help and pronounced dead at the hospital.
35 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Eric Talamantes, fully extinguished the fire in approximately 31 minutes. While an adjacent unit suffered minor fire damage and two others sustained some water damage, the bulk of the building was saved.
There were no indications the building, built in 1990, contained functioning smoke alarms. The cause of the fire is under investigation by LAFD Arson and Counterterrorism Unit (ACTS). The official cause of death and identification of the victims will be determined by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner.
Dispatched units: E46 RA46 RA846 E233 T33 E221 T21 E414 SQ21 E15 BC13 BC11 RA246 EM11 E66 RA21 AR1 CM22 AR9 AR10 AR11 AR21 AR17 AR15 AR9 AR37 T33 E233