LAFD Firefighters Recognized for Saving Local Business

Tuesday, May 7, 2024
Los Angeles-

The Los Angeles City Board of Fire Commissioners recognized a group of firefighters, after a business owner penned a letter to the Fire Chief extending his gratitude for saving his business.



Firefighters responded to 911 East 59th Street at 12:28 PM on December 16, 2023 to find heavy fire showing from a one-story commercial building in the Florence area of Los Angeles. Over 80 LAFD firefighters battled flames for over an hour to protect businesses on either side of the fire unit, and extinguish the flames.

Business owner Harrison Karabel went out of his way to compose a letter and send it to Fire Chief Kristin Crowley to express his appreciation. The letter read:
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Fire Chief Crowley,

I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the first responders to the warehouse mentioned above where a structural fire was in progress on Sat. 12/16/2023 which is right next door to my property located at 909 E. 59th Street. 

I must commend those courageous men and women, those heroic eighty or more firefighters for responding so quickly. Just to watch those true professionals spring into action without hesitation at the obvious danger of a warehouse fully engulfed in flames at the possibility of putting their own lives in danger to contain the fire and possibly rescue anyone that may have been inside. 

With the help of the RS3 Robotic Firefighting Vehicle the fire department was able to contain the fire at 911 E. 59" St., to where there was minimal damage to my property. They saved my manufacturing warehouse where I employ long time employees who will be able to return to work after the holidays. That alone will always have our unmeasurable gratitude and unwavering highest esteem for a job beyond well done. 

My family has been operating in the construction industry in the city of Los Angeles since 1944, this is why I was compelled to write this letter of thanks to you and your Los Angeles and neighboring fire departments that helped contain that fire that could have been so much worse. I must again commend them for doing a job well done. Under your continued leadership I am confident that they will be even more exemplary men and women firefighter as they are now. 

Harrison Karabel
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Chief Crowley was moved by the kind words and effort of Mr. Karabel and shared this with the highest authority in the Fire Department - the Board of Fire Commissioners.

Firefighters who were the first to respond to this incident were invited to the May Board of Fire Commissioners meeting to be recognized for their efforts and meet Mr. Karabel, who expressed his gratitude. Certificates of Appreciation were issued to each member, which read:

"In recognition and sincere gratitude of your heroic courage, diligent efforts, personal initiative and expedient firefighting efforts to save multiple commercial buildings, performed during
dangerous conditions at 911 E. 59th Street, in South Los Angeles, California, on December 16, 2023.

The Los Angeles Fire Department commends you
for your extraordinary property saving efforts
to the citizens of the City of Los Angeles."

The following LAFD members were recognized:
- Firefighter Andrew Johnson
- Firefighter Steven Avedissian
- Firefighter Christopher Johnson
- Firefighter Steven Canchola
- Firefighter Dylan Casey
- Firefighter Keith Castillo
- Firefighter Timothy Coulombe
- Firefighter Jose Gomez
- Firefighter/Paramedic Alexander Nehrich
- Firefighter/Paramedic Robert Tapia
- Apparatus Operator Erin James
- Apparatus Operator Preston Newman
- Apparatus Operator Trevor Insley
- Apparatus Operator Ryan Thompson
- Engineer Cody Crippen
- Engineer Scott Kwasigroch
- Engineer Steven Jones
- Engineer Gregory Sanders II
- Captain Claudio Fluxa
- Captain Jared Cooper
- Captain Trevor Cooper
- Captain Frank Macias
- Battalion Chief Patrick Leonard

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