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April 8, 2022
Here’s the latest news impacting Los Angeles Firefighters…

Feature
Kristin Crowley Affirms Oath for LAFD's Highest Sworn Office
Kristin M. Crowley is the 19th Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). With her wife and children by her side, Chief Crowley took the oath of office on March 25, 2022, becoming the first female, first LGBTQ, and first paramedic to hold the office of Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Chief Crowley leads a large all-risk department – approximately 3,400 sworn and 350 civilian employees – in protecting more than four million people in Los Angeles – the nation’s second most-populated city. From the ocean to the mountains, the Valley to the Port of Los Angeles, the LAFD responds to more than 1,300 emergency calls a day. As a 22-year veteran of the LAFD, Chief Crowley has proven her credibility and character by promoting through the ranks. She served as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Engineer, Fire Inspector, Captain I, Captain II, Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief, Chief Deputy, and Fire Chief.

Large fire breaks out in Reseda apartment complex, man critically hurt
A man was critically injured and several units were destroyed after a large fire broke out in a large apartment building in Reseda early Friday morning. The blaze was reported at 3:15 a.m. at the three-story Kingswood Village Apartments located in the 17800 block of Sherman Way. Several residents were evacuated, while others sheltered in place. The fire started on the first floor and spread to the top floor.

Photo by Ismael Miranda
Crews battle large commercial building fire in Pacoima
A large fire burning in a commercial building in Pacoima drew a heavy response by Los Angeles firefighters Tuesday night. The fire was first reported around 9:10 p.m. at a commercial building located at 13281 W. Van Nuys Blvd. Firefighters arrived on scene and found large flames and smoke billowing from the structure. The fire spread to at least two commercial units and destroyed a portion of one’s roof, officials said. Firefighters initially entered the building to battle the blaze from inside but had to empty the building briefly as the fire grew in size. Crews continued to put water on the fire from the ground and atop nearby buildings until it was safe for firefighters to resume their offensive attack inside the building. Early reports indicated there may have been someone trapped inside of the building as the fire broke out, LAFD said, but that person was located safe at the scene. Firefighters remained on the roofs of other buildings to prevent the fire from jumping to nearby structures while additional firefighters began the process of minimizing smoke and water damage to adjacent businesses.

Ruff Day. Firefighters Rescue Stranded Pup After Nearly 2 Hours in LA River
Firefighters rescued a dog from the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley Monday after it had been stranded for nearly two hours in the chilly water after a morning of rainfall. Los Angeles Fire Department units set up multiple rescue points along the Los Angeles River after reports of a woman and her dog in the water near the Sepulveda Dam. The 35-year-old woman rejected rescuers efforts, thinking only about her dog. Once she was rescued, her dog kept floating, swimming and fighting. Rescuers scooped him up near Colfax more than two hours after dog and owner went in.

Fire Watch
One Person Suffered Serious Burn Injuries in an Encino House Fire
One person suffered serious burn injuries today in a house fire in Encino. The fire in a home behind another house at 17642 Miranda St. was reported at 4:54 p.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, and the cause of the blaze was under investigation. LAFD's arson team was sent to the location.

Photo by Mike Meadows
Brush fire burns 3 acres near 118 Freeway in Chatsworth area
A fire scorched about three acres of brush Wednesday near the westbound 118 Freeway in the Chatsworth area, but no structures were damaged. Firefighters were sent to the freeway near Topanga Canyon Boulevard shortly after 11 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. “All visible flames are extinguished, and firefighters have handlines completely surrounding the burn area — contained,” the LAFD reported shortly after noon. “No structures were damaged and no injuries reported.”

Firefighters quickly handle school fire in Boyle Heights
Los Angeles Fire Department crews were on the scene of a one-story school fire in Boyle Heights Friday evening. The fire was reported just before 9:45 p.m. at Sunrise Elementary School on East 7th Street. A bungalow on the school property was reportedly showing flames from the roof when crews arrived. As Sky9 flew overhead, it appeared that the situation was controlled. It took the 41 firefighters on hand just under 25 minutes to knock down the flames.

Firefighters Quell Rubbish Fire That Extended into One-Story Strip Mall
Firefighters today knocked down an outside rubbish fire that had extended into a one-story strip mall in the Arlington Heights community of Los Angeles, authorities said. Firefighters dispatched at 4:09 a.m. to 3337 W. Pico Blvd. had the flames out within 25 minutes of their arrival, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Metro vehicle fully engulfed in flames on 10 Freeway
A Metro bus caught fire on the 10 Freeway near Boyle Heights Thursday afternoon. Crews have responded to a call of a vehicle fire on the 10 Freeway at North State Street a little before 2 p.m. SkyFOX was over the scene as the Metro Silver Line bus was fully engulfed in flames. It is unknown if there were people inside the bus when the vehicle caught fire. Officials did not say if there were injuries in the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire damages unit in row of bungalows in Palms area
Fire damaged a unit among a row of bungalows Saturday in the Palms community of Los Angeles, authorities said. The 33 firefighters dispatched at 1:08 p.m. to 10610 W. Venice Blvd. had the blaze within 13 minutes of their arrival, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Fire Damages Apartment Building in Vermont-Slauson Area
A single-story apartment building in the Vermont-Slauson area of South Los Angeles was damaged by flames Saturday evening but there were no injuries. The fire was reported at 8:26 p.m. at 6926 S. Bonsallo Ave., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Margaret Stewart. Flames were showing when firefighters arrived but had the fire out in 16 minutes, confining the damage to one unit, Stewart said. No one was inside the unit at the time of the fire.

Arson Investigation Launched After Firefighters Knock Down Two Fires in Boyle Heights
An arson investigation has begun into two fires that burned in Boyle Heights late Tuesday morning, just a mile and a half apart and within half an hour of each other. The first fire, at a one-story commercial building in Boyle Heights, was extinguished in just under 20 minutes, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. That blaze began just after 10 a.m. Fire crews were dispatched to the building, which LAFD sources said was a small appliance store, at Lorena Street and Estrada Street in Los Angeles. "The fire appears to have primarily been an outside fire... which extended inside," the LAFD said in a statement. The fire began in some refrigerators outside of the business. The fire crews were able to stop the fire before it spread to an attached medical clinic, according to the LAFD.

LAFD Knocks Down House Fire in Westlake
Firefighters knocked down a vacant house fire in Westlake Sunday evening. The blaze was reported at 9:06 p.m. inside a house with an exposed building on one side at 122 S. Coronado St., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. Firefighters managed to protect the exposed building. The department dispatched 31 firefighters to the scene and knocked down the flames in 18 minutes, Stewart said.

Fire That Began in Dryer of Westchester Apartment Extinguished
Firefighters gained control of a fire Friday in Westchester after 19 minutes. It took 26 firefighters to knock down the blaze, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange. Fire crews responded at 3:48 a.m. to a two-story apartment fire at 6900 S. Knowlton Place where authorities believe the blaze started in a dryer in a second-story laundry room.

Two Storage Units Damaged in Valley Glen Commercial Building
It took firefighters 20 minutes Saturday evening to stop flames that started in one Valley Glen storage unit and spread to the one next-door. The fire was reported at 6:35 p.m. in the commercial building at 13234 W. Sherman Way, said the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Nicholas Prange. The flames spread from one unit to the adjacent unit, Prange said. “Firefighters forced entry from the front and protected the rest of the units in the row,” he said. The flames were out at 6:55 p.m.

First Responder News
Three Injured in Two Incidents Where Cars Fell into Wash in Canoga Park, Mission Hills
Three people were injured in two separate incidents where two vehicles fell into a wash in Canoga Park and Mission Hills Saturday night. The car crash in Mission Hills happened a little more than an hour after a vehicle went over a bridge and into a wash in Canoga Park, injuring one person. The crash was reported at 7:09 p.m. at 21400 W. Bassett St., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. The driver was able to get out of the car and was taken to a hospital for treatment. It was unclear what caused the crash and not immediately clear if drugs and/or alcohol were factors. In the second car, two people were injured tonight when a vehicle went into a wash in Mission Hills. The crash was reported at 8:20 p.m. in a channel at 14800 W. San Fernando Mission Blvd., said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Woman Lowered from Koreatown Apartment Trash Chute in Bizarre Rescue
Add another one to this week's unusual rescues for the Los Angeles Fire Department. A day after rescuing two people and a frightened dog from the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley, fire-rescue team members responded to a Koreatown apartment Tuesday night. A woman was stuck in a trash chute. The woman was trapped about three stories high in the building in the 800 block of South Hobart Boulevard. It was not immediately clear how the 40-year-old woman became stuck. Nearly 50 firefighters, including technical rescue team members, responded to the location around 8:30 p.m. They considered trying to reach the woman, who was conscious and speaking with firefighters, from the roof or basement. They also considered breaching walls.

Man Missing for More Than Two Weeks Found Dead in Griffith Park with Dog Alive by His Side
A missing man’s body was located in a remote area of Griffith Park Thursday night, with his dog still by his side. Oscar Alejandro Hernandez, 29, had been missing since March 16. One firefighter described the location as a good hike up from the park's merry-go- round. According to a missing person flier posted by Hernandez’s family, he was last seen near the merry-go-round hiking trails. More than two weeks later, it was not just a heartbreaking discovery of Hernandez, but next to the body was his loyal dog, King. The dog was tired and hungry, but alive. Through his grief, Hernandez’s cousin told NBC4 this loyal dog never left his owner’s side. The Los Angeles Fire Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, park rangers and devastated relatives were all at the rescue Thursday night.

1 dead, 2 hospitalized from suspected overdose that prompted hazmat incident in LA neighborhood
One person is dead and two other people were hospitalized Monday morning suspected of overdosing on fentanyl in the area of Broadway-Manchester. The hazmat team responded to the scene near 232 W. 115 Street around 8: 55 a.m. to investigate possible exposure to an "undetermined product." According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, two people were found inside a vehicle in critical condition, and a third person was found outside the vehicle with minor conditions. One person, a 28-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Body Pulled from Ocean in San Pedro
Authorities are investigating a body found early Monday in the ocean waters off San Pedro. Los Angeles County lifeguards located and paddled the body at about 9:05 a.m. Monday at 3720 S Stephen M White Drive, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Paramedics determined death on the scene. The Los Angeles County Coroner will investigate the reported drowning, Stewart said.

Photo by Leo Kaufman
Firefighters Search Vehicle off Woolsey Canyon Road; Find No Crash Victim
Firefighters searched the area off Woolsey Canyon Road in the Chatsworth Reservoir area early Monday morning after a vehicle was found over the side of the road but they could not find a crash victim. The search began about 1:40 a.m. on Woolsey Canyon Road near Valley Circle Boulevard, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman. Helicopters from LACo and Los Angeles fire departments searched from above and firefighters from both agencies searched the canyon area, Pittman said.

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 II
Robert V. Fickett
Deceased: 4/4/2022
Appointed: 4/20/1963
Assignment: FS 70
Retired: 2/11/1999

Captain
Robert R. Knipscheer
Deceased: 3/24/2022
Appointed: 6/21/1954
Assignment: FS 24
Retired: 6/29/1982

Apparatus Operator
Charles A. Raymer
Deceased: 3/15/2022
Appointed: 5/12/1962
Assignment: FS 95-A
Retired: 6/29/1982

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

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.