LAFD Battles Combustible Metal Fire at Harbor Gateway Recycling Firm

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
It took the combined effort of 97 Los Angeles Firefighters nearly seven hours Tuesday, to extinguish a stubborn blaze involving combustible metal in a south Los Angeles industrial park. 
Alerted by a fire alarm monitoring service at 11:09 AM on December 2, 2014, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to 1011 Francisco Street in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles near Torrance, where firefighters arrived quickly in steady rain, to discover a 40 foot dumpster ablaze within an enclosed loading dock at the rear of a metal recycling firm.
Learning that the dumpster contained water reactive metal - likely titanium shavings, responders carefully protected the threatened one story building with hoselines, careful to avoid any direct application of water to the volatile metal.
The building's occupants were carefully moved from the premises, as firefighters with chainsaws skilfully opened the roof and skylights above the loading dock to release heat and smoke from the intense fire, limiting the horizontal spread of flames. A simultaneous effort to dike water runoff from the firefight was met with success, as the obstinate blaze continued to smolder for hours, despite the methodical application of special firefighting agents to smother the flames. 
Ninety-seven firefighters under the command of Assistant Chief Donald Frazeur confined the fire within the dumpster,  extinguishing all visible flame in 6 hours and 51 minutes. 
No injuries were reported. 
Firefighters worked closely with regional, State and Federal officials on site, including the U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Los Angeles County Fire Department's Health Hazardous Materials Division, to prevent human, animal, property or environmental harm. LAFD crews remained on site throughout the night, to prevent flare-ups prior to site clean-up by a private contractor. 
Direct fire loss to American Metal Recycling Services is still being tabulated, though damage was substantially curtailed by firefighter's efforts. The cause of the greater alarm fire remains under active investigation. 
Dispatched Units: E79 RA79 E285 T85 RA85 E264 E64 T64 E36 EM13 BC6 BC4 E49 DC1 E438 E248 T48 BC13 E48 SQ48 FT36 RA36 JT1 JT5 T60 E260 FT60 T85 E285 EA1 RA264 EA2 HL2 CP2 HL3 BC738 E55 E65 HL1 SQ21 E21 T21 E221 RA21 E26 E79 T48 E248 
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