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July 16, 2021
Here’s the latest news impacting Los Angeles Firefighters…

Feature
Vice President Kamala Harris makes surprise visit to Brentwood fire station to thank firefighters
Vice President Kamala Harris paid a brief surprise visit to a Brentwood fire station Sunday to thank firefighters for their service to the community. Accompanied by her husband Douglas Emhoff and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and his wife Betty, Harris visited Los Angeles Fire Department Station 19, near the vice president's Brentwood home. In 2019, Station 19 contributed to the more than 1,000 firefighters who responded to the Getty Fire, which destroyed 10 homes and forced thousands of people to evacuate.

Presenting 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.

Fire Watch
Half-Naked Man Sets Fire Atop Boyle Heights Church, Jumps From Rooftops And Rappels Down Power Lines
A 25-year-old man who climbed atop a church Wednesday night in Boyle Heights, allegedly lit a fire underneath a cross and evaded police by jumping from rooftop to rooftop was finally taken into custody after an ordeal that lasted several hours. The suspect was identified only as John Doe because he was being uncooperative and was refusing to provide authorities with his name, police said. He was arrested on suspicion of arson.

Body Found Inside Burning RV
Firefighters found a woman dead Wednesday morning after they put out flames engulfing an RV in the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles. The fire was reported at 8:20 a.m. at 1892 W. Washington Blvd., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Margaret Stewart. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed that the victim was female, but did not immediately know her age or identity.

L.A. firefighters contain small brush fire near Griffith Observatory
Firefighters have contained a small brush fire that erupted in Griffith Park late Wednesday morning. The blaze ignited around 10:30 a.m. near the Greek Theatre before burning toward Griffith Observatory, according an Los Angeles Fire Department alert. Flames chewed through more than 500 square feet of heavy brush, the alert stated. By the time Sky5 arrived at the scene, which was just before 11:10 a.m., crews had already appeared to gain the upper hand over the blaze. Wisps of light-colored smoke could be seen rising from the hill below the iconic L.A. landmark, with firefighters dousing the remnants of flames on the ground and by air, the aerial video showed. After the fire was contained, crews remained on scene to extinguish any hotspots.

Fire Crews Battling 3-Acre Brusher in Chatsworth Near North Boulder Ridge
Crews from the Los Angeles Fire Department are fighting an approximately three-acre fire in Chatsworth in the area of 10547 North Boulder Ridge. According to LAFD, brush in the area is medium to heavy with the flames burning uphill at a moderate rate of speed.

Large Flames Rip Through Pacific Palisades Home
A fire tore through a large home in Pacific Palisades early Thursday morning. The blaze was reported at 3:49 a.m. in the 700 block of North Paseo Miramar. Los Angeles Fire Department crews responded to find heavy flames coming from the home. An LAFD helicopter was also dispatched to the scene. Crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby brush. The home partially collapsed, and because of the instability of the structure, firefighters were forced to take a defensive posture and battle the blaze from the outside. It took 78 firefighters one hour and 43 minutes to knock down the bulk of the flames. However, there were still small pockets of fire burning as of 6:30 a.m.

Photo courtesy of OnScene.TV
Fire on S. Wilton Place in Arlington Heights Quickly Put Out
Firefighters needed just 31 minutes Thursday morning to extinguish a structure fire in Arlington Heights. Crews arrived at 1537 S. Wilton Place at 2:19 a.m. and quickly took control of the fire, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. Thirty-three firefighters put out the fire in 31 minutes, and no injuries were reported, Stewart said.

Firefighters take down blaze at Sylmar building, LAPD checking garage for possible marijuana grow op
A fire at a building in Sylmar prompted police to check on the building's garage for possible marijuana grow operation Wednesday night. The Los Angeles Fire Department initially responded to a call on Lochrin Lane. It took more than 30 firefighters to take down the fire, LAFD said. No one was hurt in the fire, LAFD said. After taking down the fire, the Los Angeles Police Department is taking a whiff at the building's garage for a possible marijuana bust. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Raging Inferno - Fire Burns Down House In West LA
At approximately 3:06 AM LAFD responded to a residential structure fire at 2675 S. Federal Ave in West Los Angeles. Firefighters vigorously fought back the flames and were able to save what looks like half of the main structure. The large garage to the rear of the property was completely destroyed along with a vehicle inside. No injuries are known to have occurred.

Fire Damages Commercial Building in South Los Angeles
Fire Saturday damaged a commercial building in South Los Angeles that housed two businesses. Firefighters dispatched at 9:22 a.m. to 266 E. Vernon Ave. had the blaze out at 9:39 a.m., according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. “All occupants were out of the building upon LAFD (arrival),” Stewart said. “Two businesses are located in the same structure and firefighters prevented the fire from extending to the second business.”

Photo by Austin Gebhardt
LAFD Knocks Down Small Grass Fire in Pacoima
Firefighters stopped a brush fire Sunday that burned about a quarter-acre of grass between homes and the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Pacoima. The fire, which started near 13019 W. Paxton St., was reported at 5:31 p.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange. Firefighters and a hand crew surrounded the fire with hose lines and hand tools, Prange said. The department dispatched 26 firefighters to the scene and contained the fire in under 20 minutes, Prange said.

First Responder News
Harbor City rollover crash: Mother demands justice after 4-year-old daughter killed, son injured
A devastated mother is pleading for justice after her 4-year-old daughter was killed and her 5-year-old son was left seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash in Harbor City. The children were leaving the park with their father at 8:20 p.m. Friday in the 26000 block of South Vermont Avenue when another vehicle made an illegal U-turn in front of the family, authorities said. The father swerved to avoid a collision, causing the truck to rollover multiple times and crash into a light pole. Authorities initially described him as the children's uncle. Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department said the children along with their father were taken to a hospital, where the girl died of her injuries.

Man, 60, Dies After Falling 30 Feet from Bridge in Silver Lake
A 60-year-old man died Saturday after falling about 30 feet from a bridge in the Silver Lake district. A 911 caller reported the fall at 1198 N. Myra Ave. just before 3 p.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said. The man died at the scene, she said. His name was withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Big Rig Crash Closes 210 Freeway in Lake View Terrace
A crash involving a big rig on the East 210 Freeway at Osborne Street has traffic closed in both directions. According to reports, the truck was carrying a non-hazardous load, though firefighters are handling a small fuel leak from the semi. The truck driver has been transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the involved passenger vehicle was evaluated and had no medical complaints.

Big Rig Carrying 80K Pounds of Bananas Catches Fire On 5 Freeway in Boyle Heights
A big rig carrying tens of thousands of pounds of bananas caught fire on the 5 Freeway in Boyle Heights Wednesday morning. The fire occurred at about 10 a.m. on the southbound 5 Freeway at Mission Road. It took Los Angeles Fire Department crews just under 30 minutes to extinguish it. There were no injuries. The semi-truck was carrying about 80,000 pounds of bananas, according to California Highway Patrol.

Valley Glen, Sherman Oaks Neighborhoods Without Power After 2 Underground Vault Explosions
There were two underground transformer explosions in Valley Glen Monday morning. The explosions, which occurred in underground electric vaults, occurred at around 10 a.m. in the 6000 block of North Fulton Avenue and the 5600 block of North Ethel Avenue, both in the vicinity of L.A. Valley College, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Footage from Sky2 showed that one of the explosions blew off a manhole cover. There were no fires and no injuries immediately reported. Approximately 4,650 L.A. Department of Water and Power customers without power in Sherman Oaks, and another 2,887 customers without power in Valley Glen after two underground vault explosions.

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 fires are burning faster, hotter, more intensely — and getting harder to fight
The fires have burned more than 140,000 acres, from soaring mountains along the California-Nevada border to forest north of Mt. Shasta and the gateway to Yosemite. But many of 2021’s biggest blazes have one thing in common: They are burning faster and hotter than some firefighters have seen this early in the year. A winter and spring of little rain and minimal snow runoff — followed by months of unusually warm conditions and several summer heat waves — left the vegetation primed to burn fast, giving crews little time to get a handle on the flames before they explode.

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

Above & Beyond
UFLAC 1st Vice President Chuong Ho and Secretary Adam Walker presented a plaque to National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Director of Fire Service Programs Robert Manciero in appreciation of the NFFF’s production of Go Down Swinging – The Nathan Espinosa Story to recognize the organization’s commitment to Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.

Go Down Swinging – The Nathan Espinosa Story
On September 19, 2018, the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to a fire in a commercial structure. Within minutes of arrival, the department experienced a significant near miss event involving serious injury to one of its newest members. Rather than take the incident in stride as “part of the job,” LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas reviewed the incident and within ten days ordered a top to bottom cultural shift in the department’s response to structural fires. The cultural shift preserved the LAFD tradition of aggressive fire attack, while injecting new practices designed to improve firefighter safety and avoid a repeat event that could lead to an irreversible tragedy. This article tells the tale of how one fire chief and a major metropolitan department recognized a threat and responded by taking bold corrective action before the threat became a tragedy. The story is a model of courageous leadership.

Remembering Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters
Captain II
Charles W. Casper
Deceased: 7/9/2021
Appointed: 4/1/1957
Assignment: FS 28
Retired: 4/1/2007

Engineer
Robert G. Parmelee
Deceased: 7/1/2021
Appointed: 12/19/1955
Assignment: FS 37
Retired: 9/10/1981

Fireman
Paul J. De La Garrigue
Deceased: 7/1/2021
Appointed: 1/2/1962
Assignment: FS 63
Retired: 6/29/1982

Captain
Reginald Ballard
Deceased: 6/30/2021
Appointed: 7/12/1949
Assignment: FS 81
Retired: 5/1/1978

Captain
Benny J. Holder
Deceased: 6/24/2021
Appointed: 8/29/1964
Assignment: Rescue Maintenance
Retired: 10/7/1986

Firefighter II
Ronald E. Hodge
Deceased: 6/12/2021
Appointed: 3/16/1962
Assignment: Supply & Maintenance
Retired: 8/10/1986

Captain I
Thomas J. Crowley
Deceased: 6/12/2021
Appointed: 4/1/1973
Assignment: FS 108
Retired: 7/22/2004

Engineer
Benedict R. Napiorkowski
Deceased: 6/8/2021
Appointed: 3/16/1948
Assignment: FS 97
Retired: 8/31/1969

Paramedic
James A. Park
Deceased: 6/7/2021
Appointed: 7/1/1973
Assignment: FS 112
Retired: 4/26/2006

Fireman
Joseph R. Rentz
Deceased: 6/5/2021
Appointed: 9/23/1957
Assignment: FS 10
Retired: 10/31/1972

Engineer
Brian Hitchings
Deceased: 5/24/2021
Appointed: 4/30/1966
Assignment: FS 104
Retired: 6/18/1992

Firefighter III
Joanne Cameron
Deceased: 5/23/2021
Appointed: 12/18/1983
Assignment: Fire Safety Education Unit
Retired: 5/4/2002

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.