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March 25, 2022
Here’s the latest news impacting Los Angeles Firefighters…

Feature
Photo by Gary Apodaca
Thank You Chief Terrazas!
UFLAC thanks LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas for his tremendous service to the City of Los Angeles that spanned nearly four decades. UFLAC was proud to work with him to protect the men and women of our Department and the people of our City. We wish him all the best in retirement!

1 person found dead after Koreatown fire
Firefighters discovered a body after extinguishing a fire in Koreatown on Thursday, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in an alert. The fire was reported at 3:18 p.m. on the second story of a five-story office building at 611 S. Catalina St., the LAFD said. The deceased, whose age and gender are unknown, was located “behind debris and file cabinets” after the fire had been extinguished, according to the LAFD. “Excessive storage within the office units forced a delay in conducting a full search until the fire was extinguished,” the department added. In a later press release, the department added that the more than 90 firefighters on scene had to “breach through multiple interior walls to reach and get water on the fire” which ultimately limited the fire to two units of the building and saved the rest of the structure.

29-Year-Old Discovered Dead in Highland Park House Fire
Flames raced through a single-family home in Highland Park overnight, as authorities discovered one person dead. The home was red-tagged after it was completely consumed by the fire that began at 11:30 p.m. Monday night in the 200 block of S Avenue 52. By morning, the home was a smoking husk. The LA County Coroner will reveal the cause of death, which wasn't clear amid the investigation, though it was assumed the person died in the fire. The victim was identified by the coroner as 29-year-old Mark Olmedo.

Firefighters contain brush fire in Hansen Dam area
Firefighters stopped the spread of a brush fire that broke out in the Hansen Dam area Sunday night. The blaze, dubbed the Hansen Fire, was contained at 4 acres nearly two hours after being reported around 9:30 p.m. in the Hansen Dam Recreation Area at 10400 N, Glenoaks Boulevard. Fanned by 10 mph winds, the fire was slowly moving east. Crews of more than 120 firefighters converged on the blaze, attacking the flames from the ground and the air, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. By 11:12 p.m., LAFD said the fire had been contained thanks to a “a well coordinated air attack combined with a relentless ground-based offense.” The fire didn’t threaten or damage any structures.

Chemical spill at Atwater Village facility caused by valve rupture, officials say
A hazardous materials incident Thursday morning at an industrial facility sent a massive, pungent cloud into the air above Atwater Village and prompted a response from firefighter-paramedics. Although the incident was initially reported around 8:30 a.m. as an "automatic fire alarm" at Huntsman Chemical in the 4500 block of West Electronics Place, no fire or explosion occurred, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. A large metal vessel was being prepared for packaging/distribution and a small valve broke, expelling gas into the air, the Fire Department said in a statement. The material was later identified as RenInfusion 8610. According to a statement issued by Huntsman Chemical, there was limited product involved and no injuries were reported. The building where chemical spill occurred was evacuated as a precaution, the LAFD said.

Fire Watch
Photo by Jacob Salzman
Reseda house fire leaves resident hospitalized with burns
A fire severely damaged a house in Reseda Wednesday night, with one resident suffering burns that required hospitalization. Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters responded at 9:43 p.m. to 6951 Corbin Ave., between Vanowen Street and Sherman Way, where they battled flames throughout the 1,194 square-foot residence, said fire department spokesman Nicholas Prange. Information on the injured resident’s condition was not immediately available. The fire left five people without shelter and the Red Cross was notified to assist them. It took 35 firefighters 16 minutes to extinguish the flames.

Photo by Greg Doyle
Firefighters Knock Down Greater Alarm Blaze at Two-Story Storage Facility
Firefighters Saturday knocked down a greater alarm fire at a two-story public storage facility in Sylmar, authorities said. The 80 firefighters dispatched at 6:58 a.m. to 12655 W. Foothill Blvd had the blaze out within 43 minutes of their arrival, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Initial reports detailed heavy fire in approximately seven units on both the first and second floors, for a total of 14 units, Stewart said. “The fire appears to have started on the first floor and extended up to the second floor and through a common void space horizontally to additional units,” she said. “A total of four units on the first floor and five units on the second floor sustained heavy fire damage. A portion of the second story floor is burned through. “The overhaul will be an extended operation due to the need to empty out the affected storage units, to ensure no smoldering materials remain,” she said.

Firefighters Put Out Blaze in Vacant Downtown Medical Building
More than 50 firefighters put out flames in a vacant downtown medical building in 36 minutes Saturday evening. The fire was reported at 9:51 p.m. in a mixed one- and two-story building at 1825 S. Main St. that had previously burned, said the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Margaret Stewart. Flames were showing through the roof when firefighters arrived, Stewart said. They stayed outside the building to protect surrounding structures while dousing flames from a safe distance.

Photo by Branden Silverman
LAPD Respond to Looters at Burning Walmart
On Friday night, police responded to reports of people looting a burning Walmart in Panorama City. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, officers were dispatched to Walmart after crews from the Los Angeles Fire Department reported several people looting during the fire. At this time there is no suspect description and it is unknown what was taken. LAFD spokesperson Margaret Stewart said that crews were initially called to the fire at 8333 N. Van Nuys Boulevard at about 6:20 p.m. When crews arrived store employees were evacuating the store and the fire sprinklers had been activated. Firefighters located the blaze on the second floor and shut off the sprinklers as they began to fight the fire. According to Stewart, crews turned off the sprinklers to minimize water damage. The sprinklers were dispensing 15-25 gallons of water per minute. Four people, two employees and two customers, were treated by LAFD at the scene and refused transportation.

Photo by Mike Meadows
North Hollywood garage fire spreads to 2nd building
A fire damaged a garage and another building Monday on a residential property in the North Hollywood area, but no one was hurt. The fire was reported about 11:30 a.m. on the 11500 block of Kittridge Street, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Firefighters extinguished the flames in 17 minutes, the LAFD reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Woman Injured in Watts Apartment Fire
A woman suffered a minor burn in a fire at a Watts apartment building today. The fire was reported just before 2:15 p.m. at the apartment at 11174 S. Antwerp St., near Ted Watkins Memorial Park, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. LAFD units extinguished the fire within the unit by 2:32 p.m. and found the woman at the scene suffering from a minor burn injury. It was not immediately known if she was taken to a hospital or treated at the scene. No other injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Man Seriously Burned in Storage Container Fire in Gramercy Park
A man was seriously burned today in a storage container fire in the Gramercy Park area of Los Angeles. The fire was reported just before 2:50 p.m. near a nail salon located at 1838 W. Manchester Ave., near St. Andrews Recreation Center, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. LAFD units contained the fire to the contents of the steel storage container located alongside the building, and managed to extinguish the flames by about 3:10 p.m. Firefighters found a man suffering serious burn injures to his legs in the area, and he was take by paramedics to a hospital. No other injuries were reported.

Photo by Jacob Salzman
Dog Killed in Fire That Damaged 2 Homes in Canoga Park
A dog was killed in a fire that damaged two homes in Canoga Park Wednesday. Los Angeles Fire Department units were called just before 2:50 p.m. to a fire at a one-story home in the 7300 block of North Loma Verde Avenue, according to the department’s Nicholas Prange. The fire spread to an adjacent home and caused minor damage to a detached garage, but LAFD crews were able to extinguish the flames by about 3:20 p.m.

Firefighters Quickly Douse Roof Fire at Cabrillo Avenue Elementary School in San Pedro
Firefighters quickly extinguished a roof fire at Cabrillo Avenue Elementary School in San Pedro Friday afternoon. The fire was reported at 12:11 p.m. at 732 S. Cabrillo Ave., according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Firefighters could be seen from SKY2 hosing down the charred roof. “The first arriving 30 LAFD firefighters took less than 15 minutes to access, confine and fully extinguish a ‘surface only’ roof fire atop the two-story Cabrillo Avenue Elementary School,” Humphrey said.

Photo by Ismael Miranda
Vacant Home Burns in Mission Hills
A vacant home burned late Tuesday night, Mar. 22, in the Mission Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to the 10000 block of North Lemona Avenue for a reported structure fire around 11:10 p.m. When firefighters arrived at the location, they found a one-story, vacant and boarded home fully engulfed in flames. LAFD firefighters achieved knockdown within 10 minutes of arriving on the scene.

First Responder News
Construction worker dies after getting trapped beneath service train
A worker was struck and killed Wednesday by a construction train at the future site of the Wilshire/La Brea Station on Metro's Purple Line Extension Project. Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters were called just after 4:50 p.m. to Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue on reports of a person stuck under a train, according to the department's Nicholas Prange. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Woman in critical condition after falling off cliff at Point Fermin Park
A woman was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition after she fell an estimated 100 feet from a cliff at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro Thursday afternoon, officials said. Air support teams with the Los Angeles Police Department conducted the rescue operation after they received a report about the fall around 12:10 p.m. and that it was accidental. The name and age of the victim have not been released.

Photo by Mike Meadows
Studio City Hiker Airlifted to Safety After Fryman Canyon Fall
A woman was airlifted to a hospital after she fell and sustained an apparent ankle fracture while hiking on or near the Fryman Canyon Trail in Studio City Saturday, authorities said. The fall was reported at 1:43 p.m. near the 8400 block of West Mulholland Drive, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. "She is being treated and stabilized by first arriving LAFD ground crews who hiked to her location, and will soon be hoisted aboard a hovering LAFD rescue helicopter for continuing in-flight care during direct transport to an area hospital," Humphrey wrote in a statement.

Photo by Austin Gebhardt
Firefighters Rescue Two People Who Fell in a Trench in Studio City
Two people were taken to a hospital in an unknown condition Friday after being rescued from a trench. Los Angeles Fire Department units responded to the rescue. The people were trapped under some debris. It happened in the area of 10865 W. Bluffside Drive in Studio City.

Photo by Ismael Miranda
40-year-old man injures leg during fall down 200-foot cliff in Sunland
The Los Angeles Fire Department worked to rescue a 40-year-old man who was injured after he fell down a 200-foot cliff in Sunland on Saturday. The man, whose identity was not released, was brought to the LAFD’s attention at 8:08 p.m., the department said in an alert. He was conscious and alert, though he suffered a “significant leg injury” when he fell near 11401 N. Big Tujunga Canyon Road, the LAFD said. He was considered to be in critical condition at the time of his rescue, according to the Fire Department. Firefighters worked to secure the man into a basket so he could be lifted to the surface and taken to the hospital by helicopter.

LAFD and VCFD Respond to Bell Canyon Excavation Rescue
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded in automatic aid on the evening of March 21, 2022 to the remote Ventura County community of Bell Canyon, to assist the Ventura County Fire Department in their rescue of an adult male worker who had fallen as much as 25' into a narrow earthen shaft at a construction site on Hitching Post Lane. Responders from the two agencies, including Urban Search & Rescue specialists worked closely to perform a successful rope rescue of the briefly trapped man, who remained conscious and breathing throughout the encounter. He was taken to an area hospital by a Ventura County private ambulance service.

Photo by Mark Lassman
Authorities Rescue Injured Hiker in Chatsworth
The Los Angeles Fire Department on Monday rescued an injured hiker in Chatsworth via helicopter, according to the department. A man on Monday afternoon was injured after falling from rocks near Stoney Point in Chatsworth, authorities said. LAFD rescued the man via helicopter, treated his injuries in the helicopter and brought him to a nearby hospital, according to LAFD. Photos of the rescue show five firefighters making a treacherous hike through rocks carrying rescue materials as one firefighter is dropped from a helicopter. This firefighter ultimately grabs the hiker and hoists him back up to the helicopter.

Photo by Rick McClure
Crash injures six — three critically — in Reseda
Six people were injured, three critically, in a multi-vehicle crash in Reseda on Sunday. The crash happened near 18300 Sherman Way at 4:50 p.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. In addition to the three critically injured, two others were in fair condition and one suffered minor injuries, Humphrey said. Five of the six people were transported to a hospital for treatment.

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

In Remembrance
Remembering Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters
Captain
Dinko Klarin
Deceased: 3/23/2022
Appointed: 11/24/1962
Assignment: FS 48
Retired: 7/18/1995

Engineer
Donald A. Kusar Jr
Deceased: 3/3/2022
Appointed: 4/1/1973
Assignment: FS 40
Retired: 9/20/2008

Engineer
Robert W. Dockery
Deceased: 2/26/2022
Appointed: 6/17/1952
Assignment: FS 104
Retired: 7/1/1977

Firefighter III
Dexter G. McDaniel
Deceased: 2/25/2022
Appointed: 12/21/1989
Assignment: FS 79
Retired: 3/31/2020

Captain II
Robert A. Witherspoon
Deceased: 2/21/2022
Appointed: 2/20/1971
Assignment: FS 80
Retired: 5/1/2002

Firefighter III
John E. Burgan
Deceased: 2/17/2022
Appointed: 1/6/1976
Assignment: FS 110
Retired: 7/12/2008

Engineer
Richard M. Summers
Deceased: 2/16/2022
Appointed: 11/24/1962
Assignment: FS 47
Retired: 8/27/1984

Apparatus Operator
David W. Freeman
Deceased: 2/14/2022
Appointed: 7/22/1973
Assignment: FS 48
Retired: 8/1/2003

Engineer
James C. Nolan
Deceased: 2/11/2022
Appointed: 6/16/1955
Assignment: FS 48
Retired: 7/1/1975

Firefighter III
Robert C. Klopfenstein
Deceased: 2/5/2022
Appointed: 7/22/1973
Assignment: FS 114
Retired: 6/30/2010

Engineer
Lawrence L. Tackett Jr.
Deceased: 2/5/2022
Appointed: 8/23/1969
Assignment: FS 87
Retired: 1/7/1995

Apparatus Operator
William E. Shern
Deceased: 1/19/2022
Appointed: 2/28/1977
Assignment: FS 2
Retired: 5/1/2002

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.