LAFD firefighters respond to early morning blaze in Del Rey

February 14, 2024
LAFD Los Angeles Fire Department

In the early hours of Tuesday, February 13, 2024, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responded to an emergency call reporting smoke emanating from an abandoned house in the Del Rey neighborhood.

Upon arrival, firefighters encountered a one-story house fully engulfed in flames.

The property, located on the 4900 block of South Sycamore Drive, was reported to be vacant.

After battling the fire, which was contained within 41 minutes, rescuers discovered two individuals inside: one was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, while the other was found deceased.

Nicholas Prange, a spokesperson for the LAFD, detailed the sequence of events leading to the fire department’s rapid response.

A 9-1-1 call was received at 6:14 AM, with subsequent reports indicating the fire was rapidly intensifying.

The combined efforts of thirty-seven LAFD firefighters and crews from the Culver City Fire Department, responding in automatic aid, were pivotal in containing the blaze.

Coordination and challenges faced by responders

The firefighting teams faced significant challenges due to the building’s condition and the fire’s intensity.

The house, previously red-tagged by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety as unsafe for entry, presented additional risks for the firefighting team.

Despite these obstacles, firefighters executed a strategic attack on the flames, preventing the fire from spreading to nearby homes, trees, and vegetation.

Investigation underway

Following the fire’s extinguishment, the discovery of two individuals inside the house prompted an investigation by LAFD Arson investigators, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and the Medical Examiner.

The identity of the deceased and the circumstances leading to their presence in the building are under investigation.

An approximately 50-year-old female, rescued from the premises, was immediately provided medical care and transported to a hospital in critical condition.

FSJA Comment

The incident in Del Rey underscores the dangers posed by abandoned and unsafe structures to both the community and emergency responders.

The swift action and coordination of the LAFD and supporting crews from the Culver City Fire Department highlight the challenges faced by firefighters in urban environments.

This event serves as a reminder of the critical role of fire safety regulations and the importance of community awareness in preventing future tragedies.

The ongoing investigation will hopefully shed light on the circumstances of the fire and offer insights into preventing similar incidents.

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