Three FFs Injured At Massive Industrial Blaze [Video]
LAFD Press Release
July 15, 2010
LOS ANGELES – On Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 at 11:43 PM, 41 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 21 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 3 EMS Battalion Captains, 8 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team and 2 Bulldozers under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 761 East Slauson Avenue in South Los Angeles.
More than 200 Los Angeles Firefighters were requested over the course of the incident to help battle a blaze at a large two-story commercial structure that encompassed six occupancies over an entire city block. Firefighters quickly arrived at United Alloys and Metals to find heavy fire at an industrial facility known for processing titanium and super alloy scrap.
Approximately 20 minutes following this decision a partial wall collapse, roof collapse, and a total of three explosions took place. These massive blasts rained down debris of concrete and titanium on Firefighters and even shattered windows of emergency vehicles.
From this point forward it became a heavy stream operation with ladder pipes and portable monitors that provided huge volumes of water against the intense flames. Despite the challenges of extinguishing burning titanium and the devastating explosions, the blaze was controlled in just five hours. Exhausted Firefighters were relieved the next morning by their colleagues who continued the extended overhaul and detailed salvage procedure.
Firefighter/Specialists certified in heavy equipment operation brought LAFD tractors to the scene to assist in the painstaking extinguishment of debris, an effort that continued through out the balance of the next day. Building and Safety Inspectors were also called to assess the structural integrity of the buildings.
Three firefighters were injured, two sustained small but severe burns to their hands, one of which also had burns to his ears and low oxygen saturation. The third firefighter injured his ear drums. All three were treated at local hospitals.
Monetary loss from the blaze is still being tabulated and the cause of the fire remains under investigation. The LAFD battled a similar blaze at 900 East Slauson Avenue on Friday, June 11th of this year.