Stubborn Electrical Fire Damages Wilshire Boulevard Apartments

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A stubborn electrical fire in the walls of a Westwood apartment building Saturday evening, displaced those living in six units and sent one woman to the hospital.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 8:26 PM on December 20, 2014 to 10635 Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood, where firefighters arrived quickly to find light smoke showing from the upper floors of a 58,943 square-foot six story apartment building of five occupied floors over parking.   

First arriving firefighters secured the lobby and elevators, while equipment-laden colleagues swiftly ascended stairs to check for fire above. As Fire Department aerial ladders were extended to balconies, well entrenched flames were soon discovered in the walls of a fourth floor unit, with the blaze extending vertically aside an elevator shaft to an apartment on the building's top most floor, directly above. 

A handful of residents were assisted in their calm and orderly self-evacuation from the fire floor, though most of those living in the building's 46 apartments were directed to shelter in place in the company of LAFD personnel. One hundred thirty firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Antoine McKnight confined the fire to the walls of units 404 and 504, extinguishing the stubborn flames in just 56 minutes. 

One woman who evacuated from the fire floor complained of respiratory irritation, and was taken by ambulance to a nearby hopital in fair condition. Hours later, as firefighters prepared to depart, another resident came forward seeking a medical assessment for a pre-existing condition. She subsequently declined treatment or transportation. No other injuries were reported. 

The 57 year-old midrise building was equipped with hallway fire hose cabinets, as well as smoke and manual pull-station alarms, which jointly sounded on all floors. The premises did not feature or require optional residential fire sprinklers. 

LAFD responders prevented more than $5.5 million in property loss to the Wilshire Manor Apartmentslimiting direct fire damage to $150,000 ($100,000 structure & $50,000 contents) within two of the building's apartments. Collateral impact from the blaze however, temporarily rendered four additional apartments untenable until repairs could be made. Disaster Action Team volunteers from the American Red Cross responded to assist displaced residents with temporary living needs.

Wilshire Boulevard remained closed in both directions until shortly after midnight, when firefighters completed their investigation, which attributed the fire's cause to an electrical issue. 

DISPATCHED UNITS: E37 T37 E237 RA37 E71 RA71 E292 T92 E59 EM9 BC9 BC18 E19 E58 E62 E261 T61 E269 T69 DC3 EM17 BC10 UR88 T27 E227 E27 UR27 RA27 RA827 BC5 E294 T94 E229 T29 E43 E61 E109 E288 T88 AR2 BC4 BC11 BC1 RA92 RA59 RA19 EA1 HU59 BC10 BC18 RA37

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