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October 22, 2021
Here’s the latest news impacting Los Angeles Firefighters…

Feature
2 men dead after fire at Canoga Park marijuana grow operation, LAFD says
Two men died after a fire broke out at an apparent marijuana grow operation in Canoga Park, investigators say. The fire was first reported around noon on Monday as firefighters saw flames from the building at 8423 N. Canoga Ave. According to an update issued by the Los Angeles Fire Department, one man was found dead Tuesday morning. A spokesperson for the fire department said three other men suffered "severe" burn injuries. One of them suffered burns to 90% of his body, according to LAFD, and died due to his injuries. He was 28 years old. The remaining two men are still in critical condition. At least 150 firefighters battled the blaze at the one-story commercial building.

Coast Guard, Long Beach and LA fire departments train for maritime fires
Dozens of fire fighters with the Los Angeles and Long Beach fire departments teamed with the Coast Guard to practice exercises in case there's a fire on a big vessel, like a container ship, in the port. "Having L.A. and Long Beach train together is very significant because a fire of this size would require both agencies to work together," said Sergio Arjonilla, Battalion Chief for the Long Beach Fire Department. This training is possible through a grant by the Coast Guard. While officials say smaller boat fires happen more often, but fires on big ships are more high risk. During the training, the firefighters worked out logistical elements to help protect the ships and the port around them so fires don't spread.

2020 Firefighter of The Year: Captain II Tommy Kitahata
With 33 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Los Angeles, Captain II Tommy Kitahata is a true public servant both on duty and off. His selection as the 2020 Firefighter of the Year is well earned and well deserved. Joining the LAFD in 1988, Tommy quickly proved himself to be a reliable and hard-working firefighter. He pursued the technical skills required to gain certification for the Urban Search and Rescue, California Task Force One and deployed to numerous disasters across the country during his career. He is one of the few remaining active LAFD members who went to 9/11 as part of the massive FEMA response. His technical expertise and natural ease as a teacher shined in his time spent with the In-Service Training section and as a Drill Master in Recruit Training. He continues to serve as an instructor and subject matter expert across both search and rescue and firefighter skills. Most importantly, he never asks of others what he is not willing to do himself - always the first to jump on a task.

Fire Watch
Man Rescued from Burning Home in Boyle Heights, Hospitalized in Critical Condition
Firefighters responded at about 7 a.m. to a one-story, single-family home in the 2500 block of East Folsom Street and found heavy smoke coming from the structure. The house was fully involved in fire within minutes, and firefighters shifted into defensive mode and also moved to protect a neighboring home on the east side. About 15 minutes into firefight, a man was pulled out of the home. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition, but LAFD spokeswoman Margaret Stewart did not give details on the nature of his injuries. The fire was declared out in a little over 30 minutes. Firefighters entered the collapsed structure to make sure there was no one else inside.

Burning garbage and grass send up plume of black smoke near Wilmington oil refinery
Los Angeles firefighters battled a large outdoor fire that launched a column of black smoke that could be seen throughout much of the South Bay on Wednesday afternoon. The fire broke out at 2:38 p.m. at an industrial facility in Wilmington at 1420 N. Alameda St., near the Marathon Los Angeles oil refinery, according to the L.A. Fire Department. At 2:40 p.m., officers responded to a report that a man who might have set the fire was spotted in the 1700 block of East Colon Street, said Officer William Cooper, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

LAFD Extinguishes Garage Fire in Broadway/Manchester Area
Firefighters knocked down a fire Sunday that destroyed a garage behind a home in the Broadway/Manchester area of Los Angeles. The blaze at 207 E. 108th St. was reported at 5:26 p.m., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. The department sent 26 firefighters to the scene. The flames were extinguished in about nine minutes, Stewart said.

Hollywood Hills Brush Fire
The Los Angeles Fire Department was dispatched to 2882 East Cahuenga Boulevard after receiving a call regarding a one-acre brush fire that was about to burn at a high capacity on Thursday, October 14 at 7:48 p.m. 49 Firefighters stopped the progress of the blaze, extinguishing the flames in 26 minutes. No structures were damaged during the incident and there is no report of injuries or fatalities. Traffic was shut down from East Cahuenga to Pilgrimage Bridge and Barham.

Grass Fire Near La Brea Avenue Backs Up 10 Freeway
A grass fire burning near the Santa Monica (10) Freeway in the West Adams area of Los Angeles Thursday caused a traffic jam on La Brea Avenue, prompting authorities to warn commuters to find alternate routes. The one-acre fire was reported near the 2500 block of La Brea Avenue at about 1:30 p.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. As of 3 p.m. the La Brea Avenue offramp from the eastbound 10 Freeway remained closed, according to the California Highway Patrol. The offramp is expected to remain closed until about 3:45 p.m. while crews monitor hot spots, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange. "Seek alternate routes as firefighting apparatus will affect street and freeway traffic flow near La Brea," the Los Angeles Fire Department warned.

First Responder News
Boy killed in North Hills after car crash sends vehicle onto sidewalk
A child died Sunday after a hit-and-run car crash in North Hills sent one vehicle careening onto a sidewalk and into his stroller, police said. The crash occurred in the 15500 block of West Nordhoff Street near Langdon Avenue, where Officer Cervantes of the LAPD said two vehicles, a Honda HR-V and a gray Toyota Camry, collided at about 7:35 a.m. The force of the wreck sent the Honda over a curb, where it hit an adult woman and a 1-and-a-half-year-old boy who were walking on the sidewalk, Cervantes said. The family of the slain child identified him as Sebastian Chavez and said the woman is his grandmother.

2 killed in fiery North Hollywood crash
Two men were killed Monday morning when a vehicle crashed into a palm tree and caught fire in North Hollywood. The crash was reported about 1:30 a.m. at Vineland Avenue and Burbank Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department's Brian Humphrey. The vehicle was on fire when firefighters arrived, Humphrey said. Firefighters discovered two people inside the vehicle when they put out the flames. The driver and passenger were men between the ages of 20 and 30 years old, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Several Injured in Multi-Vehicle Crash
At least seven people were injured Tuesday in a multi-vehicle crash in downtown Los Angeles. Firefighters responded at 4:49 a.m. to 1855 E. Washington Blvd. where they found the victims of the crash, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

Overturned Big Rig Spills About 2,200 Gallons of Antifreeze onto Freeway
An overturned tanker truck spilled about 2,200 gallons of antifreeze onto the Golden State Freeway near Dodger Stadium Monday, prompting a closure of the area as authorities cleaned the spillage. The collision was reported at about 4:40 p.m. on the southbound Golden State Freeway transition road to the southbound Arroyo Seco (110) Parkway, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. No one was injured in the collision, but the transition road was completely blocked by the overturned tanker, the LAFD and Caltrans reported.

Firefighters Rescue Hiker Trapped Down Runyon Canyon
A 29-year-old woman hiking in Runyon Canyon was rescued Friday afternoon, after getting stuck 150 feet down a steep canyon. Initially, the woman was believed to have been injured, but the Los Angeles Fire Department reported she was uninjured upon his rescue. She was unable to exit the canyon due to the steep terrain. A crew member used a rope system to reach the hiker, before being lowered to safety.

LA Crews Rescue Ill Hiker Near Granada Hills
Firefighters rescued a man who reportedly became ill while hiking on a remote trail in O'Melvenry Park in Granada Hills on Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. Around 2:46 p.m., the department deployed a helicopter crew to air hoist the man to a nearby hospital. Officials said the man became "suddenly ill."

State News
Tracking coronavirus vaccinations in California
Experts say about 85% of Americans will need to be vaccinated to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. This page tracks California’s progress toward that goal using data from state and federal authorities.

California Fire Map & Tracker
An interactive map of wildfires burning across the Bay Area and California.

Events
In Remembrance
Remembering Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters
Captain
George McConnell
Deceased: 10/15/2021
Appointed: 5/19/1958
Assignment: FS 24
Retired: 4/13/1986

Fireman
Pat M. Murphy
Deceased: 10/12/2021
Appointed: 6/16/1953
Assignment: FS 85
Retired: 3/26/1983

Captain
Albert C. Abel
Deceased: 10/11/2021
Appointed: 7/3/1951
Assignment: Tractor Unit
Retired: 1/16/1980

Engineer
David C. Bryan
Deceased: 10/9/2021
Appointed: 10/18/1969
Assignment: FS 74
Retired: 5/25/2000

Engineer
James B. Hall
Deceased: 10/9/2021
Appointed: 4/13/1968
Assignment: FS 59
Retired: 4/18/1993

Fire Inspector I
Shawn L. Dean
Deceased: 10/1/2021
Appointed: 2/8/1987
Assignment: Fire Inspector
Retired: 7/31/2017

Engineer
Ralph Lokers
Deceased: 9/24/2021
Appointed: 6/16/1953
Assignment: FS 38
Retired: 7/19/1985

Captain
Harry E. Finch
Deceased: 9/22/2021
Appointed: 12/17/1951
Assignment: FS 23
Retired: 7/9/1978

Firefighter III
John C. Hendricks
Deceased: 9/22/2021
Appointed: 3/1/1989
Assignment: FS 55
Retired: 7/3/2009

Captain
Ralph E. Davis
Deceased: 9/18/2021
Appointed: 7/10/1947
Assignment: FS 87
Retired: 6/1/1978

Captain II
Stephen J. Engh
Deceased: 9/9/2021
Appointed: 11/7/1977
Assignment: Medical Liaison
Retired: 11/18/1999

Captain
Vaughn C. Swanson
Deceased: 9/5/2021
Appointed: 1/29/1959
Assignment: FS 47
Retired: 1/30/1985


UFLAC’s 2020 LAFD
Year In Review 
On behalf of the approximately 3,400 Firefighters of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, IAFF Local 112 (UFLAC), we are proud to present the 2020 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 book helps to tell the story of our dedicated First Responders who continued to protect lives and property in Los Angeles while risking their own safety during an extraordinary year.
In 2020, our Firefighters and Paramedics responded to more than 444,000 emergency calls for service throughout Los Angeles - an average of 1,213 calls per day. As an all-risk fire and rescue agency serving more than four million people, the LAFD is one of the busiest fire departments in the country and we are ready to answer any call that may come our way. 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 www.uflac.org.