Relentless Effort by Firefighters Prevents Total Loss of Large Business

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Overhead view of Major Emergency commercial fire
Facing a raging inferno, firefighters battled and saved half of a large, South Los Angeles commercial building.
At 8:08PM on Monday, April 4, 2017 the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an automatic fire alarm call at 4020 S Compton Av in South Los Angeles.  A single engine company arrived to find a fire originating in the kitchen area of a food processing plant (DBA ProPortion Foods) and immediately called for additional resources, raising the incident to a Greater Alarm status.
An intense effort by truck companies conducting roof ventilation operations and fire attack chasing down the fire could not stop the blaze from traveling through the duct work in the attic, spanning the building.
With fire rolling through the attic and the roof showing early signs of compromise, conditions became untenable and too dangerous to continue an offensive operation.  Battalion Chief Richard Fields requested more companies, establishing this as a Major Emergency fire, and made the decision to go defensive, pulling crews out of the structure and off the roof.  
After ensuring accountability for all firefighters, companies established ladder pipes and master streams to quell the fire from outside.  The 70, 821 square foot building, built in 1987, is shaped like a C with the loading dock in the center.  The seat of the fire was in the southern portion (below the loading dock) and firefighters battled to keep it there.  While the water flowed, firefighters conducted a defensive strip ventilation operation on the north end of the building to create a fire break and prevent the fire from consuming the entire building.
Over 170 firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Timothy Ernst, combatted the fire for three hours and prevailed.  They limited the fire damage to the southern half of the building, saving not only half of the structure but all the offices with important business papers and computers.  Only the relentless efforts of all those on scene made this possible.
Although the company had workers present at the outbreak of the fire, all were evacuated safely and no injuries reported.
Firefighters remained on scene through the night and into the next day performing overhaul to address hot spots and ensure the community is safe.  
LAFD Arson Unit is conducting the cause investigation and dollar loss is being tabulated.
Units dispatched: E14  E221  E21  T21  E10  SQ21  RA821  E215  T15  RA17  BC13  BC1  E33  E2  E210  T10  T9  CM22  EM1  BC11  T3  E203  E3  UR3  HR3  RA3  UR88  BC5  RA9  EM13  EA1  SU3  CM21  SU1  E211  T11  E9  E26  E233  T33  RA14  RA21  EM9  E66  E15  RA15  RA846  AR1  E226  T26  E95  SQ95  BC18  BC2  T95  E295  E61  T5  E205  E288  T88  E229  T29  E4  T27  E227  T12  E212  E5  E63  T85  E285  T39  E239  E69  T98  E298  EA1  T26  E226  T33  E233  RA14  CM22  T94  E294  EM1  BC1  T94  E294  T33  E233  T95  E295  BC1  
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