Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two Firefighters Injured in L.A. Commercial Fire

From the LAFD News Blog:
Two firefighters were injured battling a major emergency structure fire in a South Los Angeles business on Sunday, August 7, 2011.

s firefighters were responding to the 6:30 PM alarm, a large "loom up" of dark smoke could be seen from blocks away.

Firefighters arrived at 121 West Florence Avenue where they found a row of one-story commercial buildings under a common roof with heavy smoke showing. Shortly thereafter, flames erupted outside the structure and careful attention was given to protecting attached and nearby businesses from flame impingement. Firefighters were strategically placed around the large structure as others forced entry inside to do battle with the intense flames.

Multiple ladders were rapidly tilted against the structure from all angles allowing firefighters assigned to truck companies to reach the roof and begin vertical ventilation using chainsaws. Moderate amount of smoke began pouring out of the holes as the chainsaws sunk in and continued to cut. Firefighters inside searched through the dark to reach the seat of the fire. As the fire ripped through the attic, a portion of the roof collapsed on one side, preventing firefighters to continue to make entry from that area.

Firefighters raced the clock as they worked intensely to stop the spread of the flames and save the adjoining businesses along with their contents.

The fire appeared to have started in southwest side of the commercial building and ran up to the attic where it quickly traveled northeast. A total of four businesses, selling furniture, carpet, mattresses and cabinets were damaged. Shortly thereafter the smoke began to lighten as firefighters started to gain the upper hand, then worked on saving the contents of the business. Due to the aggressive work, an offensive attack was used and there was no need to pull firefighters out into a defensive mode.

The building created additional challenges to firefighters due to having an unusual double roof on the northeast side described as an arch truss with 1x6 straight sheeting below, and a corrugated metal roof approximately six feet above.

Read the entire report and see additional photos HERE.

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