On Friday, July 9th, 2010 at 1:18 PM, 13 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 2 EMS Battalion Captains, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Kwame Cooper responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 1609 South Oak Street in the Pico Union area.

Firefighters arrived on scene within three minutes to find a two-story four-plex with heavy fire showing. Additional personnel were summoned to provide a swift and well-coordinated attack on the flames. An aggressive entry was made into the residence with hose-lines, while others ascended ladders to the tiled roof and performed vertical ventilation.

Eighty-six Firefighters extinguished the blaze in 31 minutes and prevented any damage to nearby structures. No one was injured in this fire, although a total of ten persons, including 6 adults and 4 children were displaced. Those ten individuals were provided temporary shelter and disaster assistance by volunteers from the American Red Cross.

This devastating fire resulted from a five year old girl and a four year old boy that were playing with matches. Many are surprised to learn that the leading causes of fire deaths for children is from playing with matches and lighters. The Los Angeles Fire Department along with our friends at the U.S. Fire Administration would like to stress the following safety tips:
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight.
  • When a child is curious about fire, calmly and firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools for only adults.
  • In addition, instruct toddlers to tell you when they find a match or lighters.
  • Please never use matches or lighters as amusement for your children. They may imitate your actions.
The dollar loss to the 88-year old residence is still being tabulated.

Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department
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