Fire Damages Vacant 5 Story Building in Van Nuys

Sunday, November 24, 2019

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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