164 Los Angeles Firefighters staged a fierce battle against a major emergency commercial fire, successfully defending exposed buildings from significant damage.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was notified at 11:28AM on Sunday June, 28, 2015 of a reported structure fire at 4366 E Worth St (corrected address) in El Sereno. The first arriving units found a one story commercial building with heavy fire and smoke showing.
Under the command of Deputy Chief Daren Palacios, simulatenous aggressive interior fire attack and roof ventilation operations began. The building was heavily secured and boarded with plywood, creating a forcible entry issue which delayed entry. When signs of potential roof collapse developed, units began the transition to a defensive operation. Truck companies established ladder pipes for heavy streams while engine companies staffed large hand lines.
© Mike Meadows
Approximately an hour into the incident, an exterior wall showed signs of instability and was deemed unsafe. Crews had to limit their positioning to ensure all were away from the possible collapse zone. In addition to a challenging fire, firefighters were also faced with 93 degree temperature and 39% humidity. Despite the conditions, crews battled for just over 2 1/2 hrs for a knockdown. The building remained unsafe to enter so an extended operation to extinguish all hot spots required LAFD presence throughout the night. A total of six firefighter injuries were reported. Four were treated and released on scene while two were transported to a local hospital in stable condition. An investigation for cause and dollar loss is pending.
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