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February 12, 2021
Here’s the latest news impacting Los Angeles Firefighters…

Feature
Firefighters battle fire at storage facility in Cypress Park
Firefighters responded to a fire at a storage facility in Cypress Park Tuesday morning. The blaze erupted around 4 a.m. at an automotive parts storage facility on 1004 N. San Fernando Road, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department alert. Crews arrived to find fire burning through the roof of the one-story structure. More than 100 firefighters went into defensive mode, battling the flames in the densely packed storage facility.

Man Dies in Apartment Fire Near Florence
A man who was rescued from a burning apartment Wednesday in the Florence area died despite efforts by paramedics to resuscitate him. Crews were called about 2:20 p.m. to an upstairs apartment in a five-unit, 3,820-square-foot building at 317 W. 76th St., said Brian Humphrey with the Los Angeles Fire Department. Paramedics tried to resuscitate the victim, who was not immediately identified, but his injuries “proved to be beyond medical help” and he died at the scene, Humphrey said.

UFLAC Overwhelmingly Supports Contract Amendments
Thank you to the thousands of LAFD firefighters and paramedics that took the time to vote on the amendments to our contract with the City of LA. For the past 12 months, the coronavirus has devastated our country and countless numbers of families right here in Los Angeles. With this contract amendment, which was supported by nearly 93% of our members, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112 has stepped up once again during these unprecedented times in order to save tens of millions of dollars, protect local city services, and most importantly - guarantee that there will be NO cuts in LAFD services in the communities that we serve. This is our city and we are all in this together. 

Fire Watch
Dead body discovered in rubbish fire in Sun Valley
Firefighters discovered a man’s dead body inside a rubbish fire burning in Sun Valley Wednesday evening, authorities said. Some smoke was still rising from a dilapidated building alongside a stretch of train tracks around 6:30 p.m. when Sky5 was overhead. The aerial footage shows two fire trucks parked outside. A Los Angeles Fire Department alert issued just before 6 p.m. states the fire was located in the 7400 block of North Coldwater Canyon Avenue. Firefighters found the body after extinguishing the flames of the blaze, which was about 15 feet by 8 feet in size, LAFD said.

Body found by firefighters responding to burning building in Leimert Park
An investigation is underway after firefighters responding to a burning building in the Leimert Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles discovered a body Tuesday morning. The fire was reported shortly after 7:30 a.m. in the 2600 block of West King Boulevard, according to an alert from the Los Angeles Fire Department. It took firefighters just over 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze in the one-story commercial building. Firefighters then discovered an unresponsive person inside the building who was pronounced dead at the scene, the Fire Department stated.

Senior Resident Safe After Fire Spreads Through Bungalows in Hollywood
Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 12:25 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, on the 5800 block of W. Camerford Avenue. When crews arrived, fire was showing in a one-story row of bungalows. There were reports of a senior female in her 90s living in one of the bungalows. Thankfully, she was located at the scene and was unharmed. LAFD reported that 29 firefighters extinguished the flames in 20 minutes that affected several bungalows. Red Cross was contacted to assist with displacement.
 
Fire damages Panorama City building where marijuana grow operation was found
Fire in a reported marijuana grow house scorched one unit of a multi-unit commercial building in Panorama City early Thursday morning and caused smoke damage to nearby rooms. Firefighters were called about 3:15 a.m. to the 14700 block of Arminta Street, west of Van Nuys Boulevard, and found moderate smoke coming from the one-story building, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Crews made their way inside the building, but due to its layout, which consisted of several hallways and rooms, and heavy smoke throughout the building, it was difficult for firefighters to quickly locate the fire, she said.

Firefighters Put Out Shadow Hills Duplex Fire; Find Marijuana Grow
Firefighters who put out flames in a Shadow Hills duplex Saturday found a marijuana grow operation inside. The non-injury fire was reported at 3:35 p.m. at 10260 N. Wheatland Ave., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Margaret Stewart. It was out at 3:56 p.m. The fire was believed to have started in the attic but extended into a portion of the living space, Stewart said.

Photo by Mike Meadows
73-Year-Old Man Critically Burned in Explosion At Van Nuys Home
A 73-year-old man was critically burned Friday after an explosion at a Van Nuys home. At 12:50 p.m., firefighters responded to the 6900 block of North Murietta Avenue, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. “Firefighters secured the utilities and confirmed (there were) no remaining patients in the house,” said Margaret Stewart of the LAFD. “The main house does not appear to be affected, only the garage. The occupant reports using the kitchen oven prior to the explosion.” Stewart initially described the man’s injuries as non-life-threatening, but later said he suffered “critical, life-threatening burns.”

Two Injured in Sylmar House Fire
A man in his 60s suffered severe burns and a woman sustained minor injuries Saturday from a fire inside a Sylmar house. The contents fire was reported at 3:12 p.m at 15528 W. Cobalt St., said the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Margaret Stewart. The flames were out in 20 minutes, Stewart said.

Photo by Yvonne Griffin
Firefighters Quell Detached Garage Fire in South Los Angeles
Firefighters knocked down a detached garage fire Saturday in the Hyde Park community of South Los Angeles. Firefighters dispatched at 1:34 p.m. to 4555 W. 63rd St. had the blaze out within 15 minutes of their arrival, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Photo by Greg Doyle
North Hills House Fire
At 5:20AM on January 27, 2021 the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire in the 16200 block of W Tupper St. Firefighters found fire showing from a one story, single family dwelling. A quick extinguishment (13 minutes) of the fire was done with no injuries reported.

Photo by Jacob Salzman
Hay bales catch fire at Chatsworth feed store
Firefighters extinguished a fire burning in stacked hay bales outside a feed store Wednesday in Chatsworth. The fire was reported on the 10300 block of Mason Avenue about 1:20 p.m., and the initial flames were knocked down by crews roughly 30 minutes later, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. “Firefighters prevented the fire from extending inside of the nearby commercial building (feed store),” Nicholas Prange of the LAFD said.

Photo by Yvonne Griffin
Vermont-Slauson Pallet Fire
At 7:08PM on February 5, 82 Firefighters defended a row of single-family dwellings adjacent to a fire at 724 W 61st St. Crews extinguished the fire in 20 minutes with no injuries reported.

First Responder News
Big rig overturns, catches fire, hangs off edge of downtown LA freeway as storm causes slick roadways
At least 50 rain-related accidents occurred on Southland freeways Friday morning as a powerful storm moved through the region, including a tractor trailer that rolled over, caught fire and came to rest hanging over the edge of the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles. The crash occurred about 3:35 a.m. near the Santa Fe Avenue exit, according to the California Highway Patrol. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in the semi in about 45 minutes and create a larger fall zone as the tractor portion of the rig was slipping, the Los Angeles Fire Department's Margaret Stewart said.

Harbor Gateway Wrong Way Fatality Crash
Los Angeles: Approximately 12:30 a.m. Monday, Feb.1, 2021, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a traffic collision call on the Southbound 110 Freeway just north of the 91 where one person was killed, and three others injured in a wrong way collision.

Box truck driver suspected of DUI in crash that left man dead on 101 Freeway in Sherman Oaks
A deadly crash on the 101 Freeway in Sherman Oaks led to the arrest of a box truck driver and the temporary closure of all eastbound lanes Monday morning. The crash occurred shortly before 2 a.m. near Van Nuys Boulevard when an SUV collided with the back of a box truck that was stopped on the freeway, California Highway Patrol Officer Ramstead said. The driver of the SUV, described as a man between 30 and 40 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Margaret Stewart stated in a news alert.

One Dead, One Hurt in Downtown LA Crash Between Car and Big Rig
One person died and another suffered minor injuries in a downtown Los Angeles crash between a big rig and a reported stolen car that got wedged underneath it. The collision between happened about 5:10 p.m. at 875 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said. The Los Angeles police pursuit of the car, which was reported stolen, began just a few minutes before the fatal crash, said LAPD Sgt. Juan Acosta of Central Traffic Division and Officer Art Rodriguez of the department's Operations Center.

State News
Wildfire smoke may carry ‘mind-bending’ amounts of fungi and bacteria, scientists say
When wildfires roar through a forest and bulldozers dig into the earth to stop advancing flames, they may be churning more into the air than just clouds of dust and smoke, scientists say. Those dark, billowing plumes of smoke that rise on waves of heat during the day and sink into valleys as the night air cools may be transporting countless living microbes that can seep into our lungs or cling to our skin and clothing, according to research published recently in Science. In some cases, researchers fear that airborne pathogens could sicken firefighters or downwind residents.

Community
How the 1971 Sylmar earthquake changed the lives of two first responders
Robert Lee and his family awoke to the walls of his home rocking and rattling on the morning of Feb. 9, 1971. A seismic jolt, the worst since 1893 to hit the area, got everyone’s attention and they bolted from their beds — including his two young sons. “They both came running in there and said,” Lee recalled, “‘Do that again, daddy! Do that again!’” This was not child’s play, and the young Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy knew it.

Events
Burn Awareness Week
Burn injuries continue to be a leading cause of injury in the United States and Canada, especially in children. Use these tips to avoid a burn.
In Remembrance
Remembering Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters
Captain I
Richard W. Rozendal
Deceased: 2/6/2021
Appointed: 5/16/1970
Assignment: FS101
Retired: 6/16/2002

Battalion Chief
Richard W. Baker
Deceased: 2/4/2021
Appointed: 1/2/1962
Assignment: Battalion 7
Retired: 7/3/1988

Captain I
Roger J. Fiala
Deceased: 1/31/2021
Appointed: 2/9/1963
Assignment: FS8
Retired: 5/30/2006

Captain
Edward O. Deane
Deceased: 1/29/2021
Appointed: 6/27/1959
Assignment: FS70
Retired: 5/18/1987

Firefighter III
Gary R. Manning
Deceased: 1/29/2021
Appointed: 5/1/1975
Assignment: FS74
Retired: 1/3/2007

Captain
Clair L. Walker
Deceased: 1/27/2021
Appointed: 4/30/1966
Assignment: FS96
Retired: 6/28/1993

Engineer
Lawrence O. Hamblin
Deceased: 1/24/2021
Appointed: 7/23/1946
Assignment: FS56
Retired: 6/1/1974

Engineer
Donald E. Venolia
Deceased: 1/17/2021
Appointed: 6/28/1969
Assignment: FS93
Retired: 7/6/1997

Engineer
Donald E. Venolia
Deceased: 1/17/2021
Appointed: 6/28/1969
Assignment: FS93
Retired: 7/6/1997

Engineer
Charles H. Clair
Deceased: 1/15/2021
Appointed: 4/13/1968
Assignment: FS72
Retired: 9/3/1994

Battalion Chief
Gene T. Brewster
Deceased: 1/15/2021
Appointed: 12/17/1951
Assignment: Battalion 12
Retired: 6/28/1990

Captain
Bernard F. Olson
Deceased: 1/12/2021
Appointed: 4/30/1960
Assignment: FS65
Retired: 7/10/1985

2019 LAFD Year In Review Photo Book 
On behalf of the more than 3,400 Firefighters, Paramedics, Dispatchers, Pilots, and Inspectors of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City IAFF Local 112 (UFLAC), we are proud to present the 2018 Los Angeles Fire Department Year in Review photo book. 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 helps to tell the story of our dedicated members who protect lives and property in Los Angeles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In 2019, our Firefighters and Paramedics responded to more than 453,000 emergency calls for service throughout the City of Los Angeles - an average of 1,200 emergency calls per day. As an all-risk fire and rescue agency serving more than four million people, 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 this 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.