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January 13, 2023

Here’s the latest news impacting Los Angeles Firefighters…


Man dead after blaze at Hollywood apartment complex

Los Angeles firefighters discovered a dead man as they battled a fire at an apartment complex in Hollywood Thursday morning. The fire at 5555 Harold Way was reported by the Los Angeles Fire Department at 8:49 a.m., and though it was extinguished in 24 minutes by 52 firefighters, a man’s body was found in the unit where the blaze began. The burned unit, located on the second floor of the four-story complex, was the only one affected, firefighters said. The man’s cause of death has not yet been determined, and no one else was injured.


Massive sinkhole swallows 2 cars in Chatsworth, prompting rescue as storm pummels LA County

As a relentless storm wreaked havoc on roadways throughout Los Angeles County on Monday night, a massive sinkhole in one neighborhood swallowed two cars, leading to a dramatic rescue by firefighters. A pickup truck drove into a large sinkhole on a street in Chatsworth and landed on top of another vehicle that had already fallen in. The incident was reported about 7:15 p.m. in the 11000 block of Iverson Road and prompted a rescue operation by 50 Los Angeles firefighters. Two people were inside each of the two vehicles, which were swallowed by the 15-foot-deep sinkhole. The two occupants of the pickup truck were able to escape on their own. The initial rescue attempt of the two occupants of the bottom vehicle -- a teenage girl and a woman -- "involved bringing ground ladders and laying them down to span the hole so crews could try to reach the victims but this was not successful," the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement. "Meanwhile, the road continued to slough and although firefighters had tried to stabilize the vehicle, it was shifting and starting to roll within the sinkhole," the statement said. "With the entire road compromised, firefighters had to make an immediate rescue to save the lives of the two people trapped."


Disaster Averted on 110 Freeway

A potential disaster unfolded when a full propane tanker truck overturned on the 110 Freeway during early commuter hours. At 4:30AM on January 9, 2023 the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to a reported overturned propane truck on the Northbound 110 Freeway transition to the Eastbound 10 Freeway in Downtown Los Angeles. Firefighters arrived to find the propane truck on its side with the driver safely out of the vehicle. Crews quickly put a protection (charged fire hose) line in place while they inspected the tank for any leaks. The tank was full with approximately 8,000 gallons of propane and fortunately, was not leaking. The only leak located was engine oil and it was diked to ensure it did not spread. The LAFD Hazardous Materials Squad responded and evaluated the situation to determine the safest approach to mitigate the hazard.


Studio City mired in debris after heavy rain triggers mud flows, surrounding homes

A powerful storm dumped heavy rain across Southern California overnight, which triggered debris flows in some neighborhoods and left people stuck inside their homes surrounded in mud. In Studio City, up to four feet of mud and debris rushed in and covered Fredonia Drive down to Kentucky Drive, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Firefighters made contact with people inside several homes in the area, and a total of 17 people were sheltering in place Tuesday morning. Two homes on Wrightwood Lane, near Bellfield Way, were impacted by the debris flow, but no serious damage was reported.


Los Angeles Firefighters Urge Storm Safety and Preparedness

Before rain occurs in Southern California, the Los Angeles Fire Department encourages residents to take the simple steps necessary to protect themselves from injury and their property from storm damage. Those living near recent brush fires should be aware of the extreme danger possible from debris flows. When rainstorms impact the Los Angeles area, storm drains, canyons, arroyos and other low-lying areas can quickly fill with fast-moving water and debris, creating a life threatening danger. It is against the law to be inside a flood control channel at any time. Click HERE for Flood Prevention and Storm Preparedness Tips.


Fire Watch

Woman Suffers Burn Injuries in North Hollywood House Fire

A 55-year-old woman suffered burn injuries in a house fire in North Hollywood Friday evening and was taken to a hospital. The fire at 5820 Cartwright Ave., near Cahuenga Boulevard, was reported at 8:06 p.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange. The department dispatched 20 firefighters to the scene and they extinguished the flames in19 minutes, Prange said.


Pallets of hand sanitizer burning in Downtown L.A.

A pile of pallet boxes containing hand sanitizer caught on fire in Downtown L.A. on Monday. It happened in the 100 block of East 16th street. Los Angeles Fire Department and Hazardous Materials Management (HAZMAT) responded. According to Margaret Stewart with LAFD, hand sanitizer was confirmed to be inside the boxes and that the “safest operation is to allow the product to burn off while ensuring it does not damage any vehicle, etc.” “This will help to limit the water run off which is being contained by a damming operation,” Stewart said. LAFD said some vehicles were exposed to the fire, they have since been moved to a safer location.


LAFD Knocks Down Apartment Fire in Koreatown

Firefighters extinguished a fire Sunday inside a four-story apartment building in Koreatown. The blaze at 744 S. Catalina St. was reported at 8:02 p.m., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. The department dispatched 32 firefighters to the scene and knocked down the flames in 18 minutes, Stewart said.


Fire Damages Unit at Two-Story Apartment Building in Baldwin Hills

Fire Saturday damaged a unit with “excessive storage conditions” at a two-story apartment building in Baldwin Hills, authorities said. The 20 firefighters dispatched at 12:34 p.m. to 4027 W. Palmwood Drive had the blaze out within 14 minutes of their arrival, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.


Fire Damages Four-Story Apartment Building in Westlake Area

Fire today damaged a four-story apartment building under construction in the Westlake community of Los Angeles. Firefighters dispatched at 10:26 a.m. to 2121 James M. Wood Blvd. had the blaze out within 26 minutes of their arrival, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. “The unit of the third floor was under construction (pipe sweating operation) and the fire extended into the pipe alley," said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. “Firefighters opened the walls to chase the fire and confirm the path of travel did not extend up into the attic." No injuries were reported.


Firefighters Battle Flames in Vermont Square

Los Angeles firefighters were battling flames at a two-story vacant fourplex Monday evening in Vermont Square. Fire was visible in at least one window on the first floor of the residential structure located at 1129 W. 43rd St., near Walton Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.


Firefighters Knock Down South Los Angeles Bungalow Fire In 12 Minutes

A fire inside a one-story bungalow in South Los Angeles Friday evening was knocked down in 12 minutes by 20 firefighters. The blaze at 430 E. 108th St., between San Pedro Street and Avalon Boulevard, was reported at 8:23 p.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remained under investigation.


Firefighters Contain, Extinguish Fire at San Fernando Valley Building

A fire at a one-story commercial building was put out Friday in Van Nuys. Firefighters responded to a 911 call at 3:03 a.m. to Sherman Way Marketplace at 13624 W. Sherman Way east of Woodman Avenue where they found flames outside the building and were able to keep it from spreading to the structure's interior, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. Stewart said no injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Sherman Oaks Patch

Fire Damages Unit at Van Nuys Apartment Building

Firefighters contained flames to one unit of a two- story Van Nuys apartment building Saturday. The fire was reported at 2:49 p.m. in a first-floor unit of the building at 14639 W. Friar St., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department's Margaret Stewart. Arriving units found smoke showing and called for additional units but put out the flames at 3:13 p.m. before the reinforcements arrived, Stewart.


LAFD Extinguishes House Fire in Boyle Heights

Firefighters knocked down a house fire in Boyle Heights Monday. The blaze at 2706 E. Fourth St. was reported at 3:22 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. The department dispatched 26 firefighters to the scene. The fire was extinguished in 17 minutes, Stewart said. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remained under investigation.


First Responder News

18-month-old, 13-year-old in grave condition following hit-and-run collision in South L.A.

Three minors and a woman were hospitalized following a two-car hit-and-run collision in South Los Angeles Monday morning. A two-car collision was reported just before 8 a.m. at 110 E. 111th Place in the Broadway-Manchester area of South Los Angeles. Four patients were extricated from an SUV at the scene. Three pediatric patients were reported at the scene, with ages listed as 18 months old; 13 years old; and 16 years old. A 35-year-old woman was also injured.


2 students hospitalized after medical call at middle school near Koreatown

Two students were taken to a hospital Thursday after a medical incident at a school near Koreatown, officials said. The incident was reported around 11:30 a.m. regarding students at a charter school at 152 N. Vermont Ave., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school, a middle school affiliated with the charter school chain Citizens of the World, shares a campus with the LAUSD’s Virgil Middle School, but it is not affiliated with the district, an LAUSD spokesperson told KTLA. The students were taken to a hospital with “minor complaints,” and while fire officials did not say the incident was an overdose call, they indicated it was not fentanyl-related.


Photo by Leo Kaufman

LAFD Air Lifts Hiker from Cave of Munits Area

LAFD responded to just outside of the Los Angeles City (and County) limits on the far west side of the San Fernando Valley at 11:41 AM on January 6, 2023 for a hiker rescue. Firefighters made their way by ground and met the patient, as rescuers from LAFD Air Ops were lowered to the location near the Cave of Munits, as well. The patient was treated and prepared for transport, then hoisted and air lifted to an area hospital in unknown condition.


Hiker suffers traumatic injuries in Griffith Park; airlifted to hospital

A 20-year-old man had to be airlifted out of Griffith Park Sunday after suffering traumatic injuries in a fall, officials with the Los Angeles Fire Department announced. Crews responded to the incident on 2898 E. Observatory Road at around 3:30 p.m. Due to the man’s injuries and the terrain, medics with LAFD’s Air Operations conducted a hoist rescue in order to transport the man to the hospital, according to a fire department news release. It is unclear what led to the man’s fall.


Body found at base of cliff near San Pedro's Sunken City

A body was found Sunday at the base of a cliff near Sunken City in San Pedro, authorities said. The Los Angeles Fire Department received a call at 10:38 a.m. Sunday from county lifeguards reporting a possible fatality at the base of the cliff. The victim was located and a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter hoisted the body from the location.


In Remembrance
Remembering Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters

Firefighter II

Harry R. Hopewell Jr.

Deceased: 1/9/2023

Appointed: 1/16/1965

Assignment: Operations Control Dispatch

Retired: 8/1/1977


Gary D. Knapp

Deceased: 12/24/2022

Appointed: 4/20/1963

Assignment: FS 80

Retired: 10/23/1988

Firefighter III

James Dougherty

Deceased: 12/16/2022

Appointed: 5/15/1977

Assignment: FS 114

Retired: 5/31/2016

Captain II

Francis D. Howard

Deceased: 12/12/2022

Appointed: 2/9/1963

Assignment: FS 35

Retired: 7/20/1997


Eugene G. Tanner

Deceased: 12/11/2022

Appointed: 4/1/1973

Assignment: FS 40

Retired: 3/31/2011

Captain II

Bruce A. Froude

Deceased: 12/7/2022


Assignment: FS 48

Retired: 5/30/1993


Douglas R. O Brien

Deceased: 12/5/2022

Appointed: 6/21/1954

Assignment: FS 80

Retired: 6/27/1980


Thomas Muro Jr.

Deceased: 11/24/2022


Assignment: FS 2

Retired: 1/1/1977


Frederick G. Stablein

Deceased: 11/21/2022

Appointed: 2/3/1958

Assignment: FS 24

Retired: 3/30/1986


William C. Bortels

Deceased: 11/20/2022


Assignment: FS 25

Retired: 9/11/1988


Firefighter III

Kenneth E. Brink

Deceased: 11/9/2022

Appointed: 9/1/2007

Assignment: FS 88

Captain I

Duane D. Reese

Deceased: 11/8/2022

Appointed: 4/30/1966

Assignment: FS 100

Retired: 1/13/2002

UFLAC’s 2021 LAFD Year In Review
UFLAC is proud to present the 2021 Los Angeles Fire Department Year in Review. UFLAC’s mission is to lead the way to protect and advocate for the health, safety, working conditions, wages and benefits of our members and their families. This publication tells the story of our dedicated First Responders who continued to protect lives and property in Los Angeles while risking their own safety during another extraordinary year.
In 2021, our Firefighters and Paramedics responded to more than 475,000 emergency calls for service throughout Los Angeles - an average of 1,300 calls per day. As an all-risk fire and rescue agency serving more than four million people, the LAFD is one of the busiest and most understaffed big city fire departments in the entire country. UFLAC is honored to help showcase the dedication and commitment demonstrated by the men and women of the LAFD. Click HERE to view the publication.
About UFLAC: Since 1918, UFLAC has been the labor organization of the proud men and women that serve as firefighters and emergency medical responders protecting the City of Los Angeles. The members of the Los Angeles Fire Department rely on UFLAC to focus on the wellbeing and safety of those that protect the lives of others. For more information, visit
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