A fire described as suspicious in nature - but thankfully causing no injury, swept through all levels of a vacant 5 story office building Sunday afternoon in the central San Fernando Valley.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 4:07 PM on November 24, 2019 to 7101 North Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys, where firefighters arrived quickly to find smoke showing from multiple floors of a vacant 5 story office building that was surrounded by dozens of tents.
Aware that the tents belonged to the area's sizable homeless population, first arriving firefighters rapidly performed forcible entry on the well secured building with hand and power tools, to not only to guarantee responder access, but to allow safe egress for anyone who may have been trapped by the swiftly moving fire that soon ignited all five floors.
Thankfully no one was discovered in peril.
With intense flames throughout the 35,000 square-foot building precluding an offensive fire attack, multiple large hose streams were rapidly deployed at ground level and from aerial ladders, for a well-coordinated multi-level defensive operation at the building's periphery.
Los Angeles Police Officers were immediately assigned to assess and as necessary evacuate scores of nearby tents belonging to the homeless, to assure no one would be injured by falling or burning debris. An LAFD helicopter was also assigned to provide command support and aerial reconnaissance.
Thankfully, there were no nearby structures or persons threatened by the flames.
125 firefighters under the command of LAFD Assistant Chief Patrick Butler were able to extinguish the bulk of flames within the first hour of fire attack, with full extinguishment of the initial fire declared at 5:50 PM.
With the interior of the building determined to be profoundly unstable following the fire, a limited number of LAFD Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) trained firefighters skillfully made their way through the damaged structure to assure no persons had been trapped or special hazards remained. No such issues were identified, and no civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.
LAFD personnel remained at scene overnight to monitor and control anticipated flare-ups. An in-depth investigation into the cause of the major emergency fire was to scheduled to resume at daybreak Monday.
Dispatched Units: E290 T90 RA90 E81 RA881 E39 T39 E239 E100 BC10 BC12 E90 CM42 E75 T75 E275 T87 E287 E87 EM15 BC15 E88 UR88 HR3 T5 E205 UR5 BC14 T88 E288 RA88 HA6 H6 E289 T89 E73 E7 E273 T73 AR2 RA100 RA7 EM14 EM17 SQ21 AR11 RA39 RA81 T2 E202 E12 E66 BC10 T15 E215 RA39 CM42 EM14 BC10 T61 E261 T20 E220
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