Fire Destroys Home But Not Spirit

Thursday, November 26, 2015

On this Thanksgiving morning, a fire in Vermont Knolls destroyed the home of a family of four but it did not destroy their thankful spirit.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 4:04 AM on November 26, 2015 at 1126 W 73rd Street in Vermont Knolls.  Upon arrival, firefighters found a 1,595 square-foot one story home fully involved with fire.  

This fast moving fire had already compromised the structural integrity of the home causing a partial roof collapse and despite the aggressive, quick actions of the firefighters, it was a complete loss.  Fortunately, the family of four was not home, thus escaping injury.  27 firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Dale Drummond safely extinguished the fire in 46 minutes.

As the Rodriguez family arrived to their home, the shock of their loss set in.  While the after-math of a devastating fire is overwhelming, the LAFD is fortunate to be able to work together with several agencies to help provide support. The American Red Cross and the SAVE program are two resources immediately available.

The Red Cross of Los Angeles was on scene quickly to provide emotional support and ensure the family knew they were not alone.  The Red Cross provides numerous services to individual/families displaced by disasters to include shelter, food and clothing.  All Red Cross disaster assistance is free and provided through the generosity of the American public.  If you would like to learn more and see how you can help, please visit Red Cross.

Thanks to the Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program created by the California Fire Foundation, the LAFD was able to provide a $100 gift card to the family to help with their immediate needs.  Please visit SAVE, If you would like to learn more about this program

While firefighters continued to overhaul the fire, they couldn’t help but want to do more on this Thanksgiving morning.  Knowing how difficult the day would be for the Renteria’s, they invited them to join in a home cooked Thanksgiving meal at Fire Station 33.  Traditionally, our firefighters combine all their best recipes, bring in food prepared at home and cook up a fire-station-worthy holiday meal.  They often eat it cold because they are busy responding to emergency calls but the visiting family members pitch in and help keep the meal on track.  

While the firefighters had the meal covered, the Spark of Love toy program delivered gifts for the two young Renteria family members and the LAFD Sertoma club donated $200.  

If you are interested in donating to this family in need, you may do so through the LAFD Fire Foundation

The 16 firefighters working out of Fire Station 33 in South LA were honored to host Rafael and Maria Rodriguez and their two daughters.  The entire LAFD family is proud of the efforts and big hearts of all the firefighters who responded to this call.  We say it often and we will say it again here, We are proud to serve.


The cause of the fire is under investigation with arson suspected. Loss of the home is $300,000 and contents loss totals $100,000.

Dispatched units: E57 RA857 RA257 E266 E66 T66 E233 T33 EM11 BC13 E33 E264 T64 EA1 RT40 AR1

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