10 horses killed in Montebello stable fire


MONTEBELLO>> Ten horses died in a fire that tore through a Montebello stable early Sunday, officials said.
The fire was first reported a few minutes after midnight at a large stable in the 300 block of South Bluff Road.
It quickly grew to consume a 120-foot by 170-foot section of the large stable, Montebello Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard Fredrickson said.
“It took about an hour for us to get more-or-less control,” he said. The fire was declared extinguished about two hours after it began.
Ten horses inside the stables died in the fire, Fredrickson said. No people were hurt.
Montebello police and firefighters managed to evacuate another 22 horses unharmed, according to Montebello police and fire officials.
Representatives of the stable could not be reached for comment Sunday.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, Fredrickson said.
“We’re still looking into everything. We haven’t ruled anything out,” the battalion chief said.
Police had not been asked to get involved to get involved investigation Sunday, Montebello police Lt. Rick Rojas said.
A dollar-value estimate of the damage was not available.

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Burro Fire: Firefighters extinguish 5-acre brush fire in forest north of Azusa


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Firefighters made quick work of a 5-acre brush fire that ignited Saturday on a rifle range at the Burro Canyon Shooting Park along East Fork Road in the Angeles National Forest, officials said.
The fire, dubbed the Burro fire, was first reported just before 11 a.m. on a rifle range at the shooting range, along East Fork Road just east of San Gabriel Canyon Road, U.S. Forest Service Fire Information Officer Nathan Judy said.
The fire grew to 4 to 5 acres in size by early afternoon, but was already 20 to 40 percent contained, according to U.S. Forest Service and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials. County firefighters assisted their federal counterparts.
Officials announced the fire had been 100 percent contained shortly after 3 p.m.
Eight fire engines, as well as firefighting aircraft, were summoned to battle the blaze, which burned through light to medium brush on moderately steep terrain, he said.
California Highway Patrol officers shut down San Gabriel Canyon Road leading into the forest as Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies headed into the forest to prepare for any possible evacuations, should they become necessary, sheriff’s Lt. Elisabeth Sachs said.
Officials ended up evacuating the shooting range itself, but other nearby recreation areas, such as Crystal Lake, remained open.
All affected forest roads were reopened once the fire was extinguished.
U.S. Forest Service officials raised the Fire Danger Level in the Angeles National Forest from “High” to “Very High” on Monday ahead of this weekend’s predicted heat wave.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation. Judy pointed out that steel-core bullets are prohibited on the shooting range due to the risk of sparks igniting a wildfire.
Judy said the Burro Fire burned up against the already-charred areas scorched by last year’s 1,700-acre Cabin Fire.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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UPDATED: Brush fire breaks out in San Dimas, prompts Sig Alert

SAN DIMAS >> Despite wet weather, firefighters battled a two-acre brush fire that ignited along the 57 Freeway in San Dimas Friday afternoon, officials said.
The fire was first reported about 1:15 p.m. as several small spot fires along the southbound 57 Freeway near Via Verde, Los Angeles County Fire Department Firefighter Humberto Agurcia said.
A “full response,” including fire-fighting aircraft, were summoned to the scene as the blaze scorched about two acres within an hour, fire officials said.
“All of our engines are working this aggressively,” Agurcia said as the fire continued burning.
Fire officials declared the 2-acre fire 100 percent contained just before 3 p.m.
No injuries were reported, and no structured were threatened, he said.
The fire remained confined to the west side of the freeway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials added.
The California Highway Patrol issued a Sig Alert for the two right-hand lanes of the southbound 57 Freeway as firefighters continued their work Friday afternoon.

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Firefighters douse flames at former El Monte gunpowder manufacturing facility


EL MONTE >> A fire broke out Saturday at vacant business that formerly housed a gunpowder manufacturing facility, authorities said.
The fire was first reported at 4:49 p.m. along Arden Drive, near the railroad tracks just north of Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Simms said.
Firefighters could see smoke rising from the 30-foot by 60-foot building as they were still a mile away, she said.
No significant explosions were reported, however firefighters approached the fire cautiously upon learning of its previous use, officials said.
But officials soon confirmed the building was vacant and empty, Simms said. Firefighters declared the blaze extinguished about 5:15 p.m. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

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Arsonists torch Industry warehouse


INDUSTRY >> An arson fire scorched an Industry warehouse packed with paper goods Wednesday, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 2:45 a.m. at a 55,000-square-foot warehouse in the 700 block of South 5th Avenue, Los Angeles Count fire and sheriff’s officials said.
Though largely “kept in check” by the building’s sprinkler system, firefighters battled the stubborn blaze for nearly two hours until it was declared extinguished, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Randall Wright said. No injuries were reported.
But firefighters determined the scene of the fire appeared suspicious and called in investigators from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail, Wright said.
“The cause is arson,” sheriff’s Detective Cynthia Valencia said. It appeared the arsonist spread gasoline around in the rear portion of the warehouse before lighting it on fire.
The intent of the arsonists appeared to be to destroy the building, but they were thwarted by the businesses’ fire-suppression system, she added.
“(The) sprinkler system did a great job,” Valencia said.
Preliminary estimated of the damage cause to the warehouse, as well as the paper plates, paper cups and other similar items stored inside ranged between $300,000 and $500,000, the detective said.
A subleased portion of the warehouse, which is used as a packaging business, was unscathed, she said.
Investigators continued seeking clues Thursday, and trying to determine who would want to torch the warehouse, Valencia said.
The arsonists were described only as two men, driving a sedan.
“The owner is very cooperative,” Valencia said.
Firefighters remained at the scene until about noon, Wright said.
Any witnesses, or anyone who saw anything suspicious early Wednesday morning is asked to contact Detective Valencia at the sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail at 323-881-7500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Fire scorches Temple City garage; firefighter injured

Los Angeles County firefighters extinguish a garage fire on the 5200-block of Halifax Road in Temple City on Wednesday April 20, 2016. There were no injuries reported. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Pasadena Star-News)

Los Angeles County firefighters extinguish a garage fire on the 5200-block of Halifax Road in Temple City on Wednesday April 20, 2016. There were no injuries reported. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Pasadena Star-News)

TEMPLE CITY >> Firefighters made quick work of a fire in a residential garage that may have been sparked by the spontaneous combustion of varnish-soaked rags, authorities said.
The fire was reported just before 12:15 p.m. in a detached residential garage in the 5200 block of Halifax Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Nick Yslas said.
Firefighters arrived within minutes, and declared the flames “knocked down” about 10 minutes after that, he said.
No one was home at the time, he said.
One firefighter was hospitalized with heat exhaustion, the captain said. The injury was considered minor.
The officials cause of the fire remained under investigation, Yslas said.
But firefighters suspected that varnish-soaked rags, left behind after the residence varnished furniture in the garage, he said.
Rags soaked with oil or other chemicals can spontaneously ignite via chemical reaction in a phenomenon known as “pyrolysis,” the captain explained.
Officials estimated the fire caused $65,000 worth of damage to the garage and its contents, Yslas said.

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Elderly woman killed in ‘suspicious’ Covina fire identified


COVINA >> Authorities Wednesday released the identity of an elderly woman who died Friday in a fire at her home labeled “suspicious” by homicide detectives.
Helen Lambert, 89, died at the scene of the fire, which ignited about 2 p.m. at the home she shared with her grandson in the 20900 block of Mesarica Road, in an unincorporated county area near Covina, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner officials.
Her charred remains were discovered by firefighters as they extinguished the blaze, which was primarily isolated to a bedroom toward the rear of the home.
An officials cause of death was yet to be determined by coroner’s investigators, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. An autopsy has been completed, however, the cause of death has been deferred pending additional investigation.
Sheriff’s officials initially said arson was suspected in the fatal fire.
Lt. Steve Jauch of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau later described the fire as “suspicious” in nature, but declined to discuss what about the fire caught the attention of investigators. No arrests have been made.
The grandson, described by a friend as 18 years old, was not injured in the fire.
A friend of the grandson, 22-year-old Gabriel Garcia of Glendora, said he had just arrived to visit the grandson when his friend told him the house was on fire, and his grandmother was inside, Garcia said.
The two young men smashed a window or glass for at the rear of the home, but were unable to enter due to the extreme heat and thick smoke, Garcia said.
Anyone with information can reach the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

— Staff writer Ruby Gonzales contributed to this report.

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UPDATED: Arson suspected in fatal Covina house fire


COVINA >> A woman died in a possible arson fire in an unincorporated county area just outside of Covina Friday afternoon, officials said.
The fire was first reported at 2:01 p.m. at a house in the 20900 block of Mesarica Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Firefighter Humberto Agurcia said.
“The first units arrived at 2:07 p.m. and reported a single-family dwelling with smoke showing from the rear,” he said. The fire was extinguished 15 minutes later.
Sheriff’s officials said firefighters entered the house, put out the fire and discovered the charred remains of an adult in a bedroom. The person was pronounced dead at the scene.
FATALFIREOfficials initially described the victim as a woman,said the person’s gender, ethnicity and age were yet to be determined
The deadly fire was being investigated as an arson, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said. But officials released no information regarding why He didn’t say why arson was suspected.
The fire primarily involved a bedroom toward the rear of the house where the remains of the victim were found.
Neighbor Steve Campanella said an elderly woman lives at the home with her grandson.
He said he didn’t know his elderly neighbor well, but would sometimes see her in her front yard. The woman and her grandson moved to the neighborhood about eight years ago, neighbors said.
Gabriel Garcia, 22, of Glendora, a friend of the 18-year-old man who lives at the home with his grandmother, said he arrived to visit the grandson as the fire was starting.
AR-160409577The fire was not visible from the street, he said. The grandson told Garcia the house was on fire and his grandmother was inside, Garcia said.
“We went through the back. We tried breaking in,” Garcia said. “We eventually broke (a glass door), but we couldn’t go in. It was so hot.”
Garcia said he wanted to help. He said he saw no flames, only thick smoke.
“There was so much smoke, I could barely see the bed,” he said.
Garcia said the grandson arrived shortly before him.
Both fire-cause investigators and sheriff’s homicide detectives were summoned to the scene.
Investigators continued combing over the scene for evidence Friday night.
Anyone with information can reach the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTO by Watchara Phomicinda

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Worker killed in Santa Fe Springs warehouse fire identified

Santa Fe Springs, Downey and Los Angeles County firefighters respond to a structure fire at the IBS cosmetics company warehouse where one worker died in the three-alarm blaze at 10015 Pioneer Boulevard in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. March 7, 2016.   (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)

Santa Fe Springs, Downey and Los Angeles County firefighters respond to a structure fire at the IBS cosmetics company warehouse where one worker died in the three-alarm blaze at 10015 Pioneer Boulevard in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. March 7, 2016. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 31-year-old worker killed Tuesday in an explosion and fire at a Santa Fe Springs hair care product distribution company.
Ji Hoon Oh died at the scene of the massive fire Tuesday afternoon at Innosys Beauty Care Inc., 10015 Pioneer Blvd., Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials said. His city of residence was unclear.
The rest of the employees managed to escape the fast-spreading fire without serious injuries, Santa Fe Springs Fire Department Chief Michael Crook said. One firefighter and one employee were treated for minor injuries.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation pending the results of laboratory analysis of samples of products collected at the gutted warehouse, Crook said.
Oh’s cause of death was also yet to be determined by coroner’s investigators, officials said.
Representatives of IBC could not be reached for comment.
The facility is in the business of receiving, repackaging and distributing hair care products.
Firefighters described the business, consisting of a warehouse and office, a total loss. But firefighters kept the intense flames from spreading to other businesses adjoined to the same building.

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Cause of deadly explosion, fire at Santa Fe Springs warehouse unknown

Santa Fe Springs, Downey and Los Angeles County firefighters respond to a structure fire at the IBS cosmetics company warehouse where one worker died in the three-alarm blaze at 10015 Pioneer Boulevard in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. March 7, 2016. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)

Santa Fe Springs, Downey and Los Angeles County firefighters respond to a structure fire at the IBS cosmetics company warehouse where one worker died in the three-alarm blaze at 10015 Pioneer Boulevard in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. March 7, 2016. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/Whittier Daily News)

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> The cause of an explosion and fire that destroyed a Santa Fe Springs beauty care product distribution company and killed an employee remains a mystery, authorities said Wednesday.
The identity of the worker killed in Tuesday afternoon’s fast-spreading an intense fire at Innosys Beauty Care IBS, Inc., 10015 Pioneer Blvd., had yet to be determined, Ed Winter, Los Angeles County Department of Medical-Examiner Coroner said. Santa Fe Springs Fire Chief Michael Crook described the victim as a man of about 30 years old.
Following reports of an explosion at the facility, which repackages and distributes beauty care products such as hair shampoo and conditioner, firefighters arrived to find the warehouse portion of the business engulfed in flames.
All but one employee had managed to get out of the burning building before firefighters arrived.
“Fellow occupants reported they did have a fellow worker inside. They knew he did not get out,” Crook said.
Firefighters rushed into the flame-engulfed warehouse and found the man, but could not save him, the chief said. Paramedics pronounced the worker dead at the scene.
The involved business unit, which contained both a warehouse and an office operated by IBC, was a “total loss,” Crook said. He initially estimated the damage at more than $500,000, but added that officials were yet to tally the value of the products and other contents of the building destroyed by the three-alarm fire.
Nearby fire agencies joined Santa Fe Springs firefighters in battling the massive blaze. Firefighters were able to prevent the flames from spreading to other business adjoined to the burning structure, though at least one sustained water damage.
“We were very fortunate to keep the fire to one unit,” Crook said.
Representatives of IBC could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Officials from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the Whittier Police Department and the county joined Santa e Springs fire officials at the scene Wednesday to continue gathering clues.
“The investigation is ongoing with the focus being on why there was an explosion, since the warehouse was used as a distribution site and not for manufacturing,” SFS Department of Fire-Rescue Chief Michael Crook said.
The one-story building stored boxes of silicone-based hair products, which may have been involved in the fire’s explosive rate of spread.
Investigators collected samples of the different products stored in the warehouse for lab analysis. Lab results were expected by early next week.
“We are looking into if these products led to the explosion and the intensity of the fire,” Crook explained.
The products, he continued, were stored in bulk-type containers and transferred to smaller bottles to sell at salons.
He said the fire was also fueled by the plastic bottles inside the warehouse.
“Plastic burns fast and hot,” he explained.
The investigation also focused on what the employee who was killed in the fire, such as where exactly he was in the warehouse when the fire ignited, and what he was doing, Crook said.
One firefighter and one civilian suffered minor injuries in the fire, he said.

  • Brian Day and Sandra Molina
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