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Must see close call: Collapse at Hollywood strip mall fire

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(Thanks to reader Vincent Chitswara for the alert on this video.)

Los Angeles Fire Department:

Los Angeles Firefighters narrowly escaped injury Sunday morning, when the facade of a strip mall collapsed while they battled a greater alarm fire.

CA LAFD strip mall collapse 1

A 9-1-1 call from a passerby alerted the Los Angeles Fire Department at 3:43 AM on February 2, 2014 of a structure fire at 5918 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy flames in the front-central section of a block long one-story strip mall. A total of 84 firefighters extinguished the flames in just 24 minutes. The cause of the early morning fire was determined to be electrical in nature.

Photo Use Permitted via Creative Commons – Credit: LAFD Video by Engineer Alonzo Williams.

CA LAFD strip mall collapse 2

Additional information on the fire from LAFD News & Information via Brian Humphrey:

A 9-1-1 call from a passerby alerted the Los Angeles Fire Department at 3:43 AM on February 2, 2014 of a structure fire at 5918 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy flames in the front-central section of a block long one-story strip mall.

Forcing entry into the smoke charged Herbs and Vitamins Araceli and adjacent E.H Joyeria at 5916 Santa Monica Boulevard, firefighters discovered fire in a utility room that had extended to the attic. As hoselines were extended within the building to battle flames, rooftop crews commenced strategic ventilation with chainsaws to limit the horizontal spread of heat, flame and smoke.

CA LAFD strip mall collapse 3

Just twelve minutes into the firefight, a radio warning was issued by Battalion Chief Raymundo Gomez, alerting the eighty-six firefighters under his command that the front of the building was beginning to fail. A seamless transition to defensive operations ensued moments before the facade in front of the burning businesses fully collapsed.

Accounting for all personnel and assuring them uninjured, Chief Gomez rapidly resumed a well-coordinated offense that fully extinguished the fire at 4:07 AM – just 24 minutes after the blaze was reported.

Damage from the fire was limited to the two businesses and estimated at $160,000 ($150,000 structure & $10,000 contents) The cause of the early morning fire was determined to be electrical in nature.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Fire21

    Very close call, glad no injuries. Good alertness by Chief Gomez.

  • Rich

    Was that Thermite in the front/left parapet that flared as the roof collapsed?

  • http://lafd.blogspot.com Los Angeles Fire Department

    VFL,

    While we’re not sure how such a suggestion would apply during an offensive fire attack, we always welcome our fire service colleagues to stop by an LAFD station when they’re in Los Angeles to share their thoughts and expertise.

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Firefighter/Specialist
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department