Building Destroyed, Two Firefighters Injured in El Sereno Blaze

Thursday, September 30, 2021

It took more than 150 firefighters nearly two hours Thursday evening to extinguish a fierce fire that consumed a large commercial building in Los Angeles' Eastside, sending two firefighters to the hospital.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 5:20 PM on September 30, 2021 to 4900 East Alhambra Avenue in El Sereno, where firefighters arrived quickly to find fire through the roof of a 31,000 square-foot one story commercial building.

Confirming that all persons who had been in or near the building had safely evacuated, LAFD responders immediately commenced defensive firefighting operations, deploying multiple large diameter hose lines from the exterior, including at least six atop extended aerial ladders, to prevent flames from extending beyond the soon fully involved structure, which housed a full service event design and furniture manufacturing firm. 

With the fire near the jurisdictional border of two agencies, the 146 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel assigned to the blaze, were soon joined in automatic aid by crews from the nearest Los Angeles County Fire Department stations, as the relentless firefight continued well past sunset.

As portions of the commercial structure, which notably once served as a roller derby auditorium, began to fail, the intense heat of the fire ignited nearby vegetation, causing firefighters to briefly close a nearby rail line, as they quickly pushed back the flames with handlines. 

Given the defensive nature of the firefight with large sections of structural collapse, the LAFD RS3 Robotic Firefighting Vehicle was soon on scene to augment and where appropriate alleviate the presence of human firefighters in quelling stubborn flames in deep piles of burning debris.  

Soon thereafter, in the transition to offensive operations, two Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters sustained painful though thankfully non-life threatening injuries. One suffered a shoulder injury in a fall, while the other sustained a second-degree burn injury to his hand. Both were taken to an area hospital in fair condition for first care, and expected to remain off-duty.

No other injuries were reported.

The fire was declared extinguished at 7:12 PM, as LAFD Bulldozers moved into position to topple and maneuver precarious debris alongside the RS3.

Due to severe fire damage, the presence and functional status of the building's fire protection and alarm systems at the time of the fire, could not be immediately determined.

Fire loss to Edge Design & Decor is still being tabulated. The cause of the major emergency fire remains under active investigation.


Dispatched LAFD Units:  E16  E47  RA801  E202  T2  RA2  E212  T12  BC2  E25  E1  RA1  RA12  E209  T9  E44  E203  T3  CM22  E250  T50  EM1  EM11  EM13  BC11  UR3  HR3  E27  UR88  BC1  RS3  EA1  SQ21  AR1  E12  E17  E21  E210  T10  E220  T20  T15  E61  HE1  E215  E26  E260  T60  E33  T66  E266  T93  E293  T94  E294  LD1  LD2  T74  E274  T78  E278 +LACoFD

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