Sunday, April 22, 2012
One Los Angeles Fire Captain was injured while battling an early morning blaze in a large commercial building in downtown Los Angeles, on April 22nd, 2012. Scores of firefighters were forced into a defensive attack to extinguish the flames.
Firefighters quickly arrived to 1025 Maple Avenue to find a large 50' x 100' commercial building attaching four units, with black smoke pouring from the roof.
Additional resources requested by the Incident Commander surrounded the structure, forced entry from the front while attacking from Santee Alley in the rear. Truck teams laddered the building, and aggressively cut holes on the lightweight panelized roof.
As the well entrenched fire rapidly spread, conditions worsened. Approximately 45 minutes into the firefight, an "emergency traffic" radio transmission instructed firefighters to attack defensively with large hose streams. It was deemed unsafe for firefighters inside and the roof was described as "spongy", for those standing on it.
A total of four businesses, containing clothing and shoes, were damaged, however the bulk of the fire was on the south side of two units. Fortunately, a division wall separated the other two units, minimizing damage to the north side of the concrete tilt-up structure.
Approximately 150 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Chris Logan, extinguished the blaze in one hour and 41 minutes.
The cause of this early morning fire is under active investigation and the dollar loss is still being tabulated.
A Fire Captain suffered a significant avulsion to the arm and was transported to a local hospital in fair condition. No other injuries were reported.