Koreatown Blaze Sends Two LAFD Firefighters to Hospital

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Los Angeles

Two Los Angeles firefighters suffered injury early Wednesday morning, while battling a greater alarm structure fire in Koreatown.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 1:07 AM on November 18, 2015 to 838 - 840 South Crenshaw Boulevard in Koreatown, where firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire showing from a 3,484 square-foot vacant subdivided two story home

The construction style of the 88 year old building, typical of the era, allowed flames to race unchecked through the walls, as firefighters swiftly searched for occupants and fought in earnest to stop a deeply entrenched inferno. While attacking flames on the first floor, two firefighters were injured when the floor beneath them, above a basement, suddenly gave way, causing them to fall and be briefly trapped by debris. 

Colleagues immediately rescued the men from the burning premises, with one suffering an singificant ankle injury, and the other painful though non-life threatening 2nd degree burns to as much as 10% of his body, including minor burns to his hands.

The firefighter with the ankle injury, in good condition, was treated at a local hospital before being released to remain off-duty. His colleague, in fair condition, was taken to the closest trauma center for stabilization, before being transferred to a burn center, where following evaluation, he was admitted and expected to remain as an in-patient for at least 24 hours. 

Significant structural compromise within the first 20 minutes of the firefight forced the transition to defensive operations, with LAFD crews preventing the flames from spreading to nearby homes. One hundred-eleven firefighters under the command of Assistant Chief Kwame Cooper confined the fire to structure of origin, extinguishing the flames in 1 hour and 28 minutes. No other injuries were reported.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated. Though transient habitation was evident inside the building, the precise cause of the blaze remains under investigation. 

Dispatched Units: E229 E29 T29 RA829 RA29 E261 E61 T61 E26 EM11 BC11 BC18 E226 T26 E13 CM22 BC5 RA61 RA26 EM1 E211 T11 E27 E15 E227 T27 EM9 T3 E203 E3 UR3 RA3 RA803 HR56 UR88 BC1 BC9 RA867 EA1 RA13 RA68 RA892 CM51 RM2 RT59 CM21

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