On Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 11:34 AM, 41 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 12 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 6 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, 2 Foam Tender, 2 Dozer Tenders, 2 Loaders, 2 Transports, 2 Emergency Lighting Units under the direction of
Assistant Chief Mark Stormes responded to a Major Emergency Fire at 1903 N. Blinn Av. in Wilmington / Harbor City.

Firefighters arrived to find a huge black column of smoke rising straight in the air from a very large complex. Further assessment revealed an outside fire which had extended throughout a 25' by 100' pile of scrap metal. The Incident Commander quickly called for additional resources to the facility doing business as a Pick-Your-Part Auto Yard. Ladder pipes, wagon batteries, and portable monitors, capable of delivering copious amounts of water were placed in operation to attack the bulk of the flames.

Even with personnel on hand, water and equipment, the fire grew in intensity due to the increasingly difficult task of reaching the seat of the fire. The pile, being the size of a football field, spread fast as more resources were soon dispatched to the incident to continue the fight. Firefighters were leading a fierce attack on the flames, when two tanks housing gas and oil were reported to be in the path of the fire. Crews were able to prevent them from catching fire.

With a swift and well-coordinated transition, firefighters went into "defensive tactics" utilizing all available heavy stream appliances and master streams appliances at the scene. Class A foam was introduced to protect all sides of the incident, with even more resources added to the fight. Crews raced to surround the flames, as the water supply in the area was quickly reaching maximum levels.

After several hours, the difficult fire continued to burn, causing great concern for nearby residence that had to endure large amounts of smoke. Fire crews worked tirelessly but vigorously to achieve a knockdown, which wouldn't come till the following day. Additional bulldozers were requested to dismantled the pile and finally reach the seat of the fire.

Over 250 LAFD personnel (at the peak of the incident) extinguished the stubborn blaze in 32 hours & 10 minutes. 50 firefighters remained on scene throughout the night, into the third day to prevent rekindling and to ensure safety. A total of 425 firefighters were actively involved in this incident lasting nearly two full days.

Happily only 1 civilian & 1 firefighter suffered non-life threatening injuries on 6-05, both were treated and expected to fully recover. No structures were directly damaged as a result of the event. The cause of the blaze is listed as accidental and estimated dollar loss are still yet to be determined.

Submitted by Devin Gales,Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department
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