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April 5, 2024

Here’s the latest news impacting Los Angeles Firefighters…


1 found dead, 1 in critical condition after Pacoima garage fire

A woman in her 60s died and a 39-year-old woman was hospitalized following a garage fire Wednesday night at a Pacoima home. The fire was reported at about 10:30 p.m. in the 13000 block of Gager Street in the San Fernando Valley communuity. Firefighters arrived to see flames shooting from the roof of a detached garage at the rear of the property near Laurel Canyon Boulevard. They opened the front of the garage to fight the fire, which was knocked down in about 20 minutes. Flames and smoke could be seen from the nearby freeway. A woman was found dead inside the garage, which appeared to be a dwelling space. The 39-year-old woman with special needs was hospitalized in critical condition. The garage did not have smoke detectors.


Mother delivers baby on Los Angeles sidewalk

A newborn baby appears to be okay after being born on a sidewalk in Exposition Park Monday night. Firefighters were sent to the 3800 block of South Figueroa Street around 11:30 p.m. to assist a woman who went into labor. The woman’s water apparently broke while she was walking on the sidewalk. Firefighters helped as the woman delivered the baby and then cut the umbilical cord, stringer news service RMG News reported. Video showed firefighters wrapping the baby in a towel and then handing the newborn over to mom.


Dramatic video shows Southern California woman rescued from raging river

A 35-year-old woman is recovering after being swept away by fast moving water in the Los Angeles River, prompting a tense air rescue by first responders Sunday. Crews with the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to calls about the incident near Laurel Canyon Boulevard at around 5 p.m. just after a brief but intense rainstorm, department officials said. It is unclear exactly how the woman ended up in the river, but according to officials, she was first spotted in the flood control channel near Whitsett Avenue where less than knee-deep water was moving at speeds estimated at around 15 miles per hour. Rescuers threw her a flotation device as she moved slowly downstream toward Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The woman was reportedly able to stand up at one point but was again swept away by the rushing water. 


Man arrested for attempting to start fire at LAFD station in Woodland Hills

A man was arrested on Sunday after he allegedly attempted to set a fire outside of a Los Angeles Fire Department station in Woodland Hills. The incident happened at the station located in the 6300 block of Fallbrook Avenue, according to Los Angeles Police Department investigators. They say that they were called to the scene after learning of a trespasser at the station, who was seen trying to use a diesel fuel pump and spray the gasoline onto the building. He was unable to operate the pump, however, as he didn't have the code required. An LAFD captain said that all but one of the members of the station were away at the time of the incident.


Fire Watch

Man and Dog Rescued from Burning Apartment and Laundry in Boyle Heights

Two people were evaluated for injuries after a fire broke out in a Boyle Heights building with a commercial laundry on the ground floor and living space above, according to authorities. The fire was reported at 11:57 P.M. at 3051 E. Wabash Ave. at Sentinel Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Brian Humphrey. It took 72 firefighters 32 minutes to put out the fire in the 7,500 sq. foot structure, Humphrey said. Firefighters rescued a man and a dog from the living area and another civilian was also medically evaluated, according to Humphrey. Both people declined medical care.


Big rig’s tires burst into flames, temporarily closing lanes on Los Angeles freeway

Several tires on a big rig burst into flames Tuesday morning causing the temporary closure of several lanes on the 101 Freeway through Van Nuys. The incident was reported on the westbound side of the freeway near Van Nuys Boulevard around 1 a.m. It was unclear what caused the tires to catch fire but the truck driver did manage to detach the trailer from the cab before the flames spread.


LAFD Knocks Down Commercial Building Fire in Watts

Firefighters knocked down a blaze in the rear of a commercial building housing a laundry and cleaners in Watts Sunday. The fire at 9915 S. Compton Ave. was reported at 9:23 p.m. Sunday, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. The department dispatched 44 firefighters who extinguished the flames in under half an hour, Humphrey said.


Hollywood Apartment Building Fire Extinguished in 36 Minutes, No Injuries Reported

A four-story apartment building in Hollywood became the scene of a blaze yesterday afternoon, with firefighters rushing to 1310 N Detroit St as smoke billowed from the structure's rear. The fire was reported at approximately 4:21 PM in what is considered a densely populated area of the city, as reported by the Los Angeles Fire Department. The LAFD deployed an offensive strategy in tackling the fire, with early efforts showing moderate smoke emissions. Firefighting forces, including both city and county personnel, collaborated to evacuate the peril, directing residents to stay put inside their homes, away from the smoky conditions engulfing the building.


Two-Story House Fire Extinguished in Westwood

The Los Angeles Fire Department announced that a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 911 S. Malcolm Avenue was extinguished on Sunday, March 31. The LAFD reported the blaze at 1:25 a.m. with almost 40 LAFD firefighters extinguishing the blaze in 31 minutes (1:56 a.m.). They were able to access, confine, and fully extinguish heavy fire in the attic and second floor of a 3,795 square foot two-story home (built 1927). There were no reports of any injuries and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Canyon News

Firefighters Knock Down Intense Fire at Mar Vista Home

Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire at a one- story residence and were able to protect nearby threatened buildings Friday in Mar Vista. Fire crews responded to the fire at 2:23 a.m. at 3947 S. Mclaughlin Ave. between Venice Boulevard and Washington Place, where they found the home engulfed in flames and quickly deployed hose lines for an interior attack, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange. Other firefighters used ladders to perform ventilation on the rooftop to allow smoke and highly heated gases to escape and make it more survivable for fire crews below, Prange added. It took 35 firefighters 26 minutes to knock down the flames.

Westside Current

Los Angeles Firefighters Swiftly Snuff Out Attic Fire on East 66th Street, No Injuries Reported

Firefighters tackled a blaze in the Florence neighborhood this morning, extinguishing a fire that had taken hold in the attic of a one-story duplex on East 66th Street, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. The LAFD alert stated the fire was reported at 9:52 AM at 229 E 66th St; a team of first responders engaged in an offensive mode to battle the flames, yet amid the chaos and the crackling of timber, the essence of their duty to safeguard life and property remained clear and unshaken. It took a team of the first 26 LAFD firefighters to subdue the attic fire in roughly 26 minutes, managing to protect the living quarters below in a effort that included "move/cover belongings to protect from water damage," according to the LAFD knockdown notice. Coordinated rooftop ventilation and an internal attack on the blaze proved effective in their containment efforts, fortunately not a single injury was reported at the scene of the incident.


Fire Damages Two-Story Duplex in South Los Angeles

Fire Sunday damaged a two-story duplex in South Los Angeles, authorities said. Firefighters dispatched at 7:19 a.m. to 5519 S. Ruthelen St. had the fire out within 23 minutes of their arrival, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.


LAFD Quick to Contain Westlake Building Blaze; Investigation Underway for Los Angeles Fire

Fire ravaged through a Westlake neighborhood building this morning as the Los Angeles Fire Department battled a blaze in a vacant four-story structure. According to an LAFD alert, smoke was seen emanating from the third floor of 1111 W 6th St, a site familiar with prior fire incidents. The fire, reported at 8:49 AM, prompted an offensive mode response from firefighters. The LAFD was quick to act, arriving at a 41,840 square-foot commercial edifice, built in 1967 and presently unused, where the crew spotted signs of the fire from a previously burnt third floor; firefighters daringly scaled ladders leading up to the roof and balconies, pushing hose lines up the internal staircases despite the smothering smoke and risks including gaping elevator shafts. The flames, contained to the contents of the third floor, were swiftly brought under control by the valiant efforts of 36 firefighters, as detailed in a subsequent LAFD statement.


Los Angeles Firefighters Extinguish Blaze in Van Nuys Townhome, No Injuries Reported

A townhome in Van Nuys was engulfed in flames last night, prompting a rapid response from Los Angeles firefighters. Smoke was spotted billowing from the first floor of a two-story townhome located at 14522 W Gault St. The incident, registered as INC#1636, was reported at 09:43 PM, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The LAFD went into offensive mode to tackle the blaze. In their effort to control the fire, the crew had to navigate through "tight spaces among excessive storage" to properly and safely extend hose lines to the affected unit. The operation involved a team of 30 firefighters who managed to quickly and effectively knock down the fire in just 15 minutes, despite the challenging conditions.


First Responder News

Metro bus driver among 9 injured in four-vehicle Leimert Park crash

A Metro bus driver was among nine people injured Thursday afternoon in a multi-vehicle crash on a Leimert Park street. The crash involving four vehicles was reported at about 3:30 p.m. near West 39th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard. At least one car rolled over, ending up on its side. The Line 210 Metro bus was northbound on Crenshaw Boulevard when it was struck by another vehicle, touching off the chain-reaction collision, Metro said in a statement. The bus driver and a passenger were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, Metro said. The 10 other passengers on the bus were not injured. Three people were hospitalized in moderate condition, the LAFD said. Six others were hospitalized in fair condition.


Worker Rescued by LAFD in Van Nuys

A 39-year-old worker who injured himself Saturday on a third-floor scaffolding at an apartment building in Van Nuys was rescued by firefighters. The injury report at 7319 Hazeltine Ave., north of Sherman Way, was received at 4:41 p.m. Saturday, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. Firefighters were able to extend their aerial ladder 100 feet, allowing ground ladders and a two-rope harness system to successfully lower the man to safety, Humphrey said. The worker, who apparently suffered a lower chest injury from a nail gun, was transported to a hospital for treatment of his injury, he said.

Valley Current

Hijacked Metro bus collides with cars and crashes into downtown LA Ritz-Carlton Hotel

A Metro bus that was hijacked by an armed man collided with cars and slammed into a hotel in a chaotic scene late Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles. The crash at The Ritz-Carton Hotel was reported at about 11:40 p.m. in the area of Georgia Street and Olympic Boulevard near the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live. Officers were told a man on the bus pulled out a gun -- later determined to be a BB gun -- and ordered the bus driver to drive to several locations, according to Metro. The frightening ordeal played out over roughly 30 minutes, the LAPD said.


LAFD Helicopter Team Executes Dramatic Hoist Rescue of Injured Cyclist in L.A.'s Tujunga Wilderness

A 19-year-old male hiker was rescued by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) air operations after sustaining an arm injury while cycling in a remote area of Tujunga on Tuesday. In a daring midday operation, detailed by the LAFD, the injured young man found himself stranded and in need of emergency medical attention. According to the official LAFD alert, the incident, which has been identified as "INC#0784," occurred at around 12:36 PM near Haines Canyon Ave. Ground crews faced a challenge due to the inaccessibility of the patient's location, finding it impossible to employ land vehicles for the rescue. The LAFD utilized a helicopter fitted with a hoist to extract the cyclist from the difficult terrain.


Los Angeles Fire Department Executes Air Rescue for Injured Hiker at Griffith Park

A 24-year-old female hiker sustained a fractured ankle while navigating the terrain of Griffith Park, prompting a swift response from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). The incident, identified as INC#1003, occurred just north of the Mount Hollywood Tunnel and ensued in an elaborate rescue operation on Sunday afternoon. According to the LAFD's alert, the hiker was found to be in fair condition despite her injury. Firefighters coordinated a ground and air rescue mission to safely retrieve her from the park's rugged landscape. The strategy was to carefully hoist the injured woman aboard a helicopter that hovered nearby, enabling her to quickly be transported to a regional trauma center.


Person found dead at bottom of San Pedro cliff

A person was found dead at the bottom of a cliff in San Pedro on Thursday morning, authorities confirmed. Firefighters with the Los Angeles Fire Department were alerted to a person in need of a rescue at the bottom of the Point Fermin cliffs around 7:41 a.m. Thursday. When firefighters arrived, they found the person deceased at the bottom. No identifying information regarding the victim was released as of Thursday morning. It wasn’t clear how they fell down the cliff. Crews were still on location Thursday as they investigated the scene and worked to secure the victim’s body near 3730 S. Roxbury St. in San Pedro.


Hiker Rescued in Pacific Palisades

On Sunday, March 31, the Los Angeles Fire Department disclosed that a hiker was rescued. The LAFD reported at 8:08 p.m. a hiker was rescued in the Santa Monica Mountains. The LAFD ground and air responded to an adult male hiker stranded in darkness on a rain-soaked remote section of Temescal Ridge Trail south of Skull Rock in Topanga State Park. A hovering LAFD Rescue Helicopter found the man and lowered a Flight Paramedic to perform an initial medical assessment. The hiker indicated he was uninjured. He and the LAFD Flight Paramedic were hoisted aboard the hovering helicopter, to shuttle the victim to a safe location beyond the wilderness.

Canyon News

State News

California to expand its memorial to fallen firefighters

The California Fire Foundation kicked off a $12 million fundraising effort this week to expand the California Firefighters Memorial in Capitol Park to make sure that all fallen firefighters in the state are properly remembered. Currently, over 1,500 firefighters’ names are etched on this wall, with 35 additional names added just last year. In recent years, deaths attributed to health reasons, even if they happen after the person has left the job, are more considered as being linked to working as a firefighter, leading to the need for a larger memorial. The foundation wants to add memorial space for another 4,600 names, which would provide for additional engravings over the next 150 years. The expansion could take five years to complete.


National News

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

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Above & Beyond

In Remembrance
Remembering Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters

Firefighter III

Randall W. Brass

Deceased: 3/30/2024

Appointed: 4/13/1986

Assignment: MFC

Retired: 3/31/2016

Firefighter III

Randall W. Brass

Deceased: 3/23/2024

Appointed: 8/23/1969

Assignment: FS 88

Retired: 4/20/2000


A. D. Brown Jr.

Deceased: 3/18/2024

Appointed: 4/1/1957

Assignment: FS 8

Retired: 7/8/1984


Firefighter III

Lauren P. Derosier

Deceased: 2/14/2024

Appointed: 5/4/1980

Assignment: OCD

Retired: 8/31/2015


William C. Stromberg

Deceased: 2/12/2024

Appointed: 6/27/1959

Assignment: FS 85

Retired: 5/16/1982



David L. Buising

Deceased: 3/10/2024

Appointed: 6/10/1961

Assignment: FS 93

Retired: 8/19/1984



Robert Vanderhagen

Deceased: 3/2/2024

Appointed: 1/24/1949

Assignment: FS 12

Retired: 1/1/1978



Darrell L. Brook

Deceased: 2/29/2024

Appointed: 9/1/1962

Assignment: FS 76

Retired: 10/11/1987


Harold W. Choate

Deceased: 2/28/2024

Appointed: 11/24/1962

Assignment: Air Operations

Retired: 3/15/1990



Steven C. Burroughs

Deceased: 2/23/2024

Appointed: 7/22/1973

Assignment: FS 107

Retired: 2/1/2003


Captain I

Anthony D. Shafer

Deceased: 2/6/2024

Appointed: 5/12/1962

Assignment: FS 19

Retired: 5/14/2005



William D. Blakeslee

Deceased: 2/3/2024

Appointed: 11/7/1959

Assignment: FS 101

Retired: 11/3/1985

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
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