Building destroyed, two fire fighters injured in El Sereno blaze in Los Angeles, US
It took more than 150 firefighters nearly two hours Thursday evening to extinguish a fierce fire that consumed a large commercial building in Los Angeles' Eastside, sending two fire fighters to the hospital. The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 17h20 on 30 September 2021 to 4900 East Alhambra Avenue in El Sereno, where fire fighters arrived quickly to find fire through the roof of a 31 000 square-foot one story commercial building. Confirming that all persons who had been in or near the building had safely evacuated, LAFD responders immediately commenced defensive fire fighting operations, deploying multiple large diameter hose lines from the exterior, including at least six atop extended aerial ladders, to prevent flames from extending beyond the soon fully involved structure, which housed a full service event design and furniture manufacturing firm.
With the fire near the jurisdictional border of two agencies, the 146 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel assigned to the fire, were soon joined in automatic aid by crews from the nearest Los Angeles County Fire Department stations, as the relentless firefight continued well past sunset.
As portions of the commercial structure, which notably once served as a roller derby auditorium, began to fail, the intense heat of the fire ignited nearby vegetation, causing fire fighters to briefly close a nearby rail line, as they quickly pushed back the flames with handlines.
Given the defensive nature of the firefight with large sections of structural collapse, the LAFD RS3 Robotic Fire Fighting Vehicle was soon on scene to augment and where appropriate alleviate the presence of human fire fighters in quelling stubborn flames in deep piles of burning debris.
Soon thereafter, in the transition to offensive operations, two Los Angeles Fire Department fire fighters sustained painful though thankfully non-life threatening injuries. One suffered a shoulder injury in a fall, while the other sustained a second-degree burn injury to his hand. Both were taken to an area hospital in fair condition for first care and expected to remain off-duty.
No other injuries were reported.
The fire was declared extinguished at 19h12, as LAFD bulldozers moved into position to topple and manoeuvre precarious debris alongside the RS3. Due to severe fire damage, the presence and functional status of the building's fire protection and alarm systems at the time of the fire, could not be immediately determined.
Fire loss to Edge Design and Decor is still being tabulated. The cause of the major emergency fire remains under active investigation.
Dispatched LAFD units: E16 E47 RA801 E202 T2 RA2 E212 T12 BC2 E25 E1 RA1 RA12 E209 T9 E44 E203 T3 CM22 E250 T50 EM1 EM11 EM13 BC11 UR3 HR3 E27 UR88 BC1 RS3 EA1 SQ21 AR1 E12 E17 E21 E210 T10 E220 T20 T15 E61 HE1 E215 E26 E260 T60 E33 T66 E266 T93 E293 T94 E294 LD1 LD2 T74 E274 T78 E278 + LACoFD
Source: Los Angeles Fire Department