On Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 7:27 AM, 17 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 6 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 2 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 9750 W. Wanda Park Dr. in Benedict Canyon.

Firefighters arrived quickly to the vicinity of Benedict Canyon, for reports of a large column of smoke in the brush area of the hills. Crews continued to search for the source, while making there way up through very narrow roads, to a long drive way. They quickly discovered heavy smoke coming from a two story 10,000 square foot residence.

Firefighters made entry into the home but were driven back by intense heat and voluminous flames that filled the structure. As personnel began to douse the fire they were met with the challenge of an extremely low water supply. Due to the small roadways, equipment had to be hiked up the long and steep drive way before any additional personnel could join the fight.

Transitioning to a defensive attack and with the closest hydrant being over 1500 feet away, water had to come from another source. Thanks to the fast thinking of the first arriving engine company, who were able to siphon water from a pool located on the premises, until a more permanent water supply could be established. Firefighters could now re-enter the structure and commence an offensive attack of the flames.

Because of the amount of brush around the building, slight winds and concern for flying embers, an LAFD helicopter was assigned for aerial reconnaissance and command support. Fire attack teams as well as roof teams tenaciously fought the fire and were able to limit the spread to additional parts of the home. A total of 115 LAFD personnel vigorously battled for 1 hour and 47 minutes before completely knocking down the flames. Sadly, three firefighters were injured during the incident, all were treated and released from the hospital, and all are expected to make a full recovery. No civilians were injured.

Fire damage has been estimated at $950,000 ($750,000 structure & $200,000 contents). The cause of this early morning blaze was categorized as “undetermined”.

Submitted by Devin Gales, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department
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