UPDATED: Large fire scorches commercial building in Azusa


AZUSA >> A fire tore through a commercial building in Azusa Friday night, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 7 p.m. in the 500 block of South Vincent Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Art Marrujo said.
“Our first-in engine company had smoke and fire coming in through the roof,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Randall Wright said. “Very quickly, we asked for a second alarm,” bringing additional firefighters to the scene.
Portions of the roof of the building collapsed, he said.
They took a “defensive” stance from the outside of the building as they continued dousing the flames with water more than an hour later, fire Dispatch Supervisor Kyle Sanford said.
1024_NWS_SGT-L-AZFIRE1The fire was fueled by a large amount of paper stored inside the building, described as a paper manufacturing business, Wright said. There were no reports of hazardous materials involved.
Firefighters positioned on ladders well above the fire pumped 3,000 gallons of water per minute onto the burning building, officials said.
Authorities declared the fire extinguished about 8:15 p.m., but expected firefighters to remain on scene well into the night, Wright said.
Paramedics treated one person who suffered minor smoke inhalation injuries, but the person declined to be taken to a hospital, Sandford said.
Azusa police shut down Vincent Avenue between Arrow Highway and Gladstone Street as a result of the fire.
Investigators were summoned to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.


PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

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Grass fire ignites near 210 Freeway in Pasadena; officials investigate possibility of arson

PASADENA >> Firefighters quickly extinguished a grass fire along the 210 Freeway in Pasadena Friday, and authorities investigated reports the fire may have been intentionally set.
The fire broke out just after 2:10 p.m. along the eastbound 210 Freeway, just west of Madre Street, according to Pasadena Fire Department officials said California Highway Patrol logs.
Officials extinguished the flames within minutes, confining the fire to less than 50 square feet in size.
At least one witness reported seeing a man intentionally light the fire and walk away, according to CHP logs.
The possible arsonist was described as a white man wearing a white T-shirt and blue basketball shorts.
No suspects were in custody as the investigation continued Friday afternoon.

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Pasadena Fire Department to announce ‘Disaster Information Sites’ program at open house Saturday

PASADENA >> The public is invited to an open house at the Pasadena Fire Department’s Station 33 Saturday, where officials will discuss disaster preparedness the department’s new disaster information program, officials said.
Fire apparatus will be on display, station tours and live demonstrations will be held and the public will have an opportunity to meet with the men and women of the PFD during the open house, to be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Station 33, 515 N. Lake Ave., city officials said in a written statement.
The event will kick of a season of open houses at all eight Pasadena Fire Department stations, authorities said. Upcoming open houses at other stations are yet to be announced.
Each open house will feature a different theme, with “disaster preparedness being the topic of Saturday’s event.
Additionally, fire officials will announce details of its new “Disaster Information Sites” program.
“The City is designating Disaster Information Sites to be located outside each Pasadena Fire Station to distribute emergency public information when other traditional means of communication become unreliable after a major disaster or emergency,” according to the PFD statement.
Station 33, 34 and 28 are currently equipped to fulfill the role, with other stations to join the program later in the year.
“The sites will also help provide a way for neighborhoods to relay local information to the City’s Emergency Operations Center when it is activated,” the statement said.
Free parking for the open house will be available nearby at the Lake Avenue Church, off Villa Street, officials said.

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UPDATED: Brush fire scorches Montebello Hills; possibility of arson investigated


MONTEBELLO >> A fast-spreading brush fire possibly sparked by an arsonist scorched more than 25 acres in the Montebello Hills and neighboring Rosemead, jumping roads with ease and drawing a massive response from firefighters throughout the area, authorities said.
The fire, dubbed the Lincoln Fire, first ignited about 1:30 p.m. in the Rio Hondo Riverbed, near the Whittier Narrows Reservoir, Montebello Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Amador said.
The fire quickly expanded to the northwest and crossed Lincoln Avenue and scorched about 20 acres of an oil field spotted with oil wells and several structures used in service of the oil field, the chief said.
Buildings were threatened by the flames, but none had been lost, he said. “We’ve been protecting those structure.”
“It does look like the Montebello Hills are under control,” Amador said. “We still have significant hot spots that we’re going to have to work through the evening.”
CMj66pRUkAAOKblThe brush fire then jumped San Gabriel Boulevard, burning its way into the vegetation of Bosque Del Rio Hondo Park in an unincorporated county area near Rosemead, Amador said. It consumed another five or so acres there.
The flames threatened several outbuildings in the park, but none had been damaged late Sunday afternoon, a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher said.
A Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter working to douse the flames from above made a “hard landing” at nearby Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier, Amador said.
Three people on board suffered possible neck and back injuries, but none that appeared to me major, Amador said.
Video footage from the scene showed the helicopter upright, with an item resembling a tail rotor lying beside it on the ground.
Further information regarding the helicopter’s emergency landing were not available.
Officials detained a person of interest, described only as a man, for questioning in connection with the Lincoln Fire, Amador said.
Further details regarding the cause of the fire or the person of interest were not available. Montebello police could not be reached for comment.


PHTOOS courtesy of the Montebello Police Department

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Man injured, home destroyed in Temple City fire

TEMPLE CITY >> A man suffered burns in a fire that destroyed his Temple City home early Thursday, authorities said.
The lone resident suffered first- and second-degree burns over about half of his body in the fire, which ignited about 9:40 a.m. at a single-story house in the 4800 block of Birchland Place , Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Donald Rivas said. He was conscious when rescuers took him to a hospital, and the injuries were not believed to be life threatening.
Firefighters found the injured resident already out of the home when they arrived, Rivas said.
They knocked down the flames by 10:02 a.m., fire Inspector Randall Wright said.
The house, which was densely packed with items, was a “total loss,” Rivas said. The detached garage was also damaged in the fire.
Officials estimated to value of the damage to be about $500,000.
Rivas said the fire started in a family room before spreading throughout the home. The cause remained under investigation.

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Arcadia townhouse damaged in early-morning fire

ARCADIA >> A fire damaged both units of a townhouse early Wednesday, resulting in a minor injury to a firefighter, authorities said.
The fire ignited about 3 a.m. at a single-story, two-unit townhouse in the 700 block of Fairview Avenue, according to Arcadia Fire Department spokeswoman Beth Stogner.
Nearly 20 firefighters, including ones from Pasadena and Los Angeles County, quickly extinguished the flames, Stogner said.
No civilians were hurt, however one firefighter was treated at the scene for a minor hand injury, Stogner said.
The fire caused an estimated $17,000 worth of damage, primarily to the unit in which it ignited, Stogner said. An adjacent unit sustained smoke damage.
The unit where the fire originated was unoccupied due to renovations, Stogner said. The Red Cross was summoned to assist any displaced residents from the second unit.
Stogner said the cause of the fire remained under investigation. It began in a kitchen wall and initially appeared to be accidental.

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UPDATED: Woman critically injured in Arcadia apartment fire

ARCADIA >> A woman was hospitalized in critical condition after firefighters pulled her from her burning apartment Friday night, officials said.
The fire ignited about 9:30 p.m. in a second-floor unit of a large, two-story apartment complex in the 900 block of West Huntington Drive, Arcadia Fire Department Battalion Chief Barry Spriggs said.
“The unit of origin was charged with smoke throughout, with fire burning freely from the bedroom window,” Arcadia fire officials said in a written statement.
Firefighters called a “second alarm” as they battled the flames in the apartment, which was set back 800 feet from the street toward the rear of the large apartment complex, Spriggs said.
They found an unconscious woman, estimated to be in her 50s, inside the burning apartment, officials said. She appeared to have suffered burns as well as smoke inhalation and was taken to the Methodist Hospital in Arcadia in critical condition.
The injured woman was believed to be the lone resident of the apartment, Spriggs said. No other injuries were reported.
Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes, Spriggs said, managing to keep it confined to a single unit. The involved apartment was scorched throughout.
Investigators determined the fire ignited in the apartment’s bedroom and was accidental, according to the fire department statement. Specific details regarding the cause of the fire were not available.
Officials estimated the blaze caused $80,000 worth of damage to the apartment and its contents.
Police initially helped evacuate many residents from the building, but only the apartments adjacent to the one that caught fire remained uninhabitable late Friday night, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
The Red Cross was summoned to help find temporary lodging for one resident displaced overnight.
Firefighters from Pasadena, Monrovia and Los Angeles County helped the Arcadia Fire Department douse the flames.

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Man, woman, deputy injured in La Puente apartment fire

LA PUENTE >> A man suffered severe burns and a woman and a sheriff’s deputy were also hurt in an apartment fire early Sunday, officials said.
Firefighters rescued the man and woman from within the burning apartment after the blaze broke out about 1:22 a.m. in the 15400 block of West Francisquito Avenue, Los Angeles County fire and sheriff’s officials said.
The critically injured man was hospitalized with burns over about 40 percent of his body, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Al Jackson said.
The woman, who also had to be rescued by firefighters, was hospitalized for treatment of possible inhalation burns, he added.
A sheriff’s deputy who first tried to enter the flame-engulfed apartment was treated for smoke inhalation but was expected to be OK, sheriff’s Sgt. Rico Sandoval said.
Deputies were unable to enter the burning home themselves, Sandoval said. Fortunately, firefighters were quickly on-scene with their breathing apparatus and other equipment and managed to get the trapped occupants out. The sergeant credited the firefighters’ quick response for saving the victims’ lives.
“Had the fire department not showed up when they did, those people would be dead,” Sandoval said.
The first firefighters to arrive found the apartment “fully involved” with fire, Jackson said. They extinguished the flames in just over 20 minutes.
The fire primarily scorched one apartment unit, but a second family was displaced from an adjacent apartment as a result of the fire as well, he said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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Fire scorches West Covina garage

WEST COVINA >> A fire blamed on an unattended cigarette tore through a residential garage early Saturday, officials said.
The 3 a.m. fire in the 800 block of South Lark Ellen Avenue caused about $100,000 worth of damage to the attached garage, West Covina Fire Department Capt. Scott Gilmore said.
The residents all got out of the home safely before firefighters arrived, the captain said. One firefighter suffered a minor back injury while battling the blaze, but did not require hospitalization.
Twenty-one firefighters extinguished the fire in about 30 minutes, Gilmore said.
The cause was determined to be a cigarette a resident had left unattended in the garage, he said.

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Man critically injured in Pasadena garage fire


PASADENA >> A man was hospitalized in critical condition following an early-morning residential garage fire, officials said.
A resident awoke just before 4 a.m. to the smell smoke emanating from a garage beneath a townhome in the 700 block of N. Garfield Avenue, just north of Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Another resident of the home in his 20s who was inside the burning garage suffered smoke inhalation, she said. He was taken to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition.
Two adults and two children got out of the townhome safely, and firefighters also rescued three Chihuahuas from the home, Derderian said. The fire did not spread to the townhome.
Investigators determined the cause of the fire was an electrical cord failure, she said.
The second-alarm fire caused an estimated $50,000 worth of damage to the garage and items inside of it, including a Mercedes-Benz sedan, Derderian said.

PHOTO courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department


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