LAFD Contains Major Emergency Fire in Downtown Commercial Building

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

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 UnitsE10  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

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