Tuesday, April 4, 2017
LAFD Spokesperson: Margaret Stewart
Facing a raging inferno, firefighters battled and saved half of a large, South Los Angeles commercial building.
At 8:08PM on Monday, April 4, 2017 the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an automatic fire alarm call at 4020 S Compton Av in South Los Angeles. A single engine company arrived to find a fire originating in the kitchen area of a food processing plant (DBA ProPortion Foods) and immediately called for additional resources, raising the incident to a Greater Alarm status.
An intense effort by truck companies conducting roof ventilation operations and fire attack chasing down the fire could not stop the blaze from traveling through the duct work in the attic, spanning the building.
With fire rolling through the attic and the roof showing early signs of compromise, conditions became untenable and too dangerous to continue an offensive operation. Battalion Chief Richard Fields requested more companies, establishing this as a Major Emergency fire, and made the decision to go defensive, pulling crews out of the structure and off the roof.
After ensuring accountability for all firefighters, companies established ladder pipes and master streams to quell the fire from outside. The 70, 821 square foot building, built in 1987, is shaped like a C with the loading dock in the center. The seat of the fire was in the southern portion (below the loading dock) and firefighters battled to keep it there. While the water flowed, firefighters conducted a defensive strip ventilation operation on the north end of the building to create a fire break and prevent the fire from consuming the entire building.
Over 170 firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Timothy Ernst, combatted the fire for three hours and prevailed. They limited the fire damage to the southern half of the building, saving not only half of the structure but all the offices with important business papers and computers. Only the relentless efforts of all those on scene made this possible.
Although the company had workers present at the outbreak of the fire, all were evacuated safely and no injuries reported.
Firefighters remained on scene through the night and into the next day performing overhaul to address hot spots and ensure the community is safe.
LAFD Arson Unit is conducting the cause investigation and dollar loss is being tabulated.
Units dispatched: E14 E221 E21 T21 E10 SQ21 RA821 E215 T15 RA17 BC13 BC1 E33 E2 E210 T10 T9 CM22 EM1 BC11 T3 E203 E3 UR3 HR3 RA3 UR88 BC5 RA9 EM13 EA1 SU3 CM21 SU1 E211 T11 E9 E26 E233 T33 RA14 RA21 EM9 E66 E15 RA15 RA846 AR1 E226 T26 E95 SQ95 BC18 BC2 T95 E295 E61 T5 E205 E288 T88 E229 T29 E4 T27 E227 T12 E212 E5 E63 T85 E285 T39 E239 E69 T98 E298 EA1 T26 E226 T33 E233 RA14 CM22 T94 E294 EM1 BC1 T94 E294 T33 E233 T95 E295 BC1