Despite a common attic and heavy fire showing upon arrival, firefighters battled an early morning blaze and saved multiple businesses.
At 3:56AM on July 14, 2020 the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 803 W Chavez Ave in Downtown Los Angeles. Firefighters arrived to find a row of one story commercial units with fire showing.
With multiple units at risk, firefighters immediately initiated aggressive, simultaneous firefighting operations. Engine companies conducted fire attack while truck companies ascended to the roof for vertical ventilation.
The 5,150 square foot building, constructed in 1921, housed four businesses. The building had a large common attic which provides fire with an easy path to extend across the entire structure unimpeded.
83 firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Timothy Ernst, coordinated their efforts which not only saved the exposed businesses from fire damage but potentially multiple surrounding apartment buildings and businesses. Had the fire been allowed to run the attic and involve the entire structure, it would have exposed numerous other buildings, putting them all at risk.
Ultimately, the fire was contained to the unit of origin, doing business as ‘Red Wing Shoes’, while the adjacent units sustained limited water and smoke damage with minimal attic involvement. There were no injuries reported by civilians or firefighters.
One person was questioned on scene by both LAFD Arson Section and the Los Angeles Police Department before being released. The cause of the fire remains under active investigation by LAFD Arson.