Fire at Los Angeles High-Rise Senior Living Facility Hospitalizes 3

Monday, October 10, 2016

A fire broke out Monday night at a high-rise, senior living facility in the Westlake community of Los Angeles, injuring some residents.

The fire was reported at 8:44 p.m. in the Union Tower Apartments located at 455 South Union Avenue. Firefighters arrived on-scene to find a 15-story high-rise with fire showing from the fourth floor and called for additional units.

Firefighters were quickly met by multiple challenges...

  • Fire Extinguishment: Firefighters brought hose-lines from the area uninvolved in flames, 100' down a dark smoke filled hallway into the involved unit, compartmentalized the fire, stopped it from spreading horizontally to adjacent units or to units above and quickly extinguished the flames.

  • Search and Rescue: Firefighters performed a rapid systematic search for trapped victims and rescued them to safety.

  • Medical Component: Firefighter/Paramedics assessed, triaged, treated, and transported the injured to local hospitals.

  • Multiple Elderly Occupants: The Incident Commander worked with building management to determine the location of those occupants with special medical needs, particularly those non-ambulatory, and provided the necessary assistance to ensure their safety.

  • Evacuation: Residents above the fire (5th floor and above) were ordered to shelter-in-place, by staying behind closed doors in their apartment, and residents on the fire floor and below were calmly and quickly evacuated.

  • Ventilation: Firefighters worked to rapidly remove smoke and products of combustion from the occupied floors and stairwells, making the building tenable for the occupants.

Due to the aggressive work of approximately 150 firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Timothy Ernst, the flames were extinguished in just 42 minutes and minimal occupants were injured.

Three residents required transportation to local hospitals, a 75 y/o male, a 75 y/o female, and a 80 y/o female. Two were critically burned and one suffered smoke inhalation. No firefighters were injured.

The cause of the fire is under active investigation by the LAFD Arson Section, and the estimated dollar loss is being tabulated.

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