South Los Angeles Building Destroyed but Critical Equipment Saved

Thursday, February 25, 2021
Heavy fire showing from a two story commercial building
Heavy fire visible upon arrival
Photo Credits: Copyright Image: Photo by Korey Cuico

An overnight battle raged as nearly 100 firefighters worked diligently to defend a burning commercial building. Ultimately the fire won out, but their efforts saved business-critical equipment worth over $165,000.

At 12:50AM on February 25, 2021 the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 3801 S Grand Avenue in South Los Angeles. Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire showing from a one story commercial building, exposing the attached two story structure.

The first engine company on scene initiated a transitional fire attack, applying water to the visible flames from the exterior while awaiting the arrival of more fire companies. They also saw two printing presses inside the building and identified them as key to the textile business. They focused their efforts and despite the growing blaze, were able to save this equipment worth over $165,000.

The 11,388 square foot building, constructed in 1969, comprised a one story warehouse in the back with a two story office section at the front. Once the bulk of the initial assignment arrived on scene, firefighters began an offensive operation on both areas. Approximately 30 minutes into the incident, continued heavy fire in the one story section resulted in signs of the structural integrity being compromised which triggered the move to a defensive operation with additional resources requested to assist.

While large diameter hand lines and master streams were deployed and directed into the one story building, an offensive operation was carefully coordinated in the two story building as firefighters worked aggressively to save the office portion of the structure.

Despite the diligent effort of 99 firefighters under the command of Assistant Chief Kristina Kepner, who labored relentlessly for over two hours, the fire consumed a majority of the building, resulting in a total loss and the structure being red-tagged as unfit for occupancy by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.

Monetary loss from the blaze, which thankfully caused no injury, is still being tabulated. Pursuant to protocol, the cause of this greater alarm fire remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson / Counter-Terrorism Section.




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