Despite prompt notification and the rapid response of firefighters, fast moving flames consumed a downtown Los Angeles commercial building Tuesday evening.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was notified at 4:11 PM on December 8, 2020 by the first of several 9-1-1 callers, and soon thereafter the crew of a passing Police Department helicopter, that smoke and flames were visible from the roof of a one-story commercial building just north of the San Pedro Street Elementary School in downtown Los Angeles.
The first arriving LAFD crews quickly navigated their way toward an ever increasing column of smoke to find an unoccupied and well-secured 10,112 square-foot building at 1603 South San Pedro Street, well involved with fire.
Though forcible entry, strategic vertical ventilation and a bold initial offense with hand lines was swiftly undertaken, a central portion of the 81 year-old building's arched truss roof collapsed 15 minutes into the firefight, forcing a well-coordinated transition to defensive operations.
Large hose streams were quickly applied to the towering flames from the brick building's perimeter, including ladder pipe operations on several sides, including from the eastbound lanes of the immediately adjacent Santa Monica Freeway.
While the greater Los Angeles area was under a high-wind warning at the time of the fire, seasonal Santa Ana winds thankfully proved not to be a factor at the time of the blaze.
One hunded thirty-four firefighters under the command of Assistant Chief Antoine McKnight skilfully confined the fire to the involved building, extinguishing flames in just 66 minutes.
No injuries were reported.
Though the burnt structure, which appeared to house props for training or filming, was destroyed, firefighters successfully prevented nearby structures and freeway infrastructure from direct fire harm. The cause of the major emergency fire remains under active investigation.
Dispatched LAFD Units: E10 T10 E210 E9 T9 E209 RA209 RA809 SQ21 BC1 BC11 RA810 E14 T15 E215 EM1 CM22 T21 E221 E211 T11 E33 E21 EM11 BC18 BC13 T3 E203 UR3 HR3 RA3 E288 UR88 BC5 EA1 RA803 CM21 HE1 E294 T94 E264 T64 E4 E17 AR1 RA17 RA4 EM13 AR2 PI2 RA815 E12