THIS ARTICLE IS REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT. aS THE LAFD POINTS OUT THE FIRE COULD HAVE BEEN A LOT LESS COSTLY AND EASIER TO FIGHT IF THE MOTEL’S GUESTS HAD TAKEN A SECOND TO CLOSE THEIR ROOM DOORS ON THE WAY OUT. THEY ARE NOT OUT TO BLAME ANYBODY, BUT LIKE US WANT EVERYBODY TO LEARN WHAT WE CAN FROM THIS INCIDENT. WHEN FIRES HAPPEN CLOSED DOORS SAVE LIVES !
VAN NUYS – Over 100 Los Angeles Firefighters battled a blaze in a Van Nuys motel where four were injured on August 24, 2013.
At 11:14 am the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) arrived at 6500 Sepulveda Boulevard in four minutes to find smoke billowing out of the second story of a two-story “O” shaped motel, named the Voyager Motor Inn. Additional companies were immediately requested.
Firefighters rushed inside with hose-lines and laddered the second story windows helping trapped victims to safely escape. Additional firefighters performed vertical ventilation on the roof with chainsaws while others kicked in doors of units to perform rapid Search and Rescue operations.
Fire attack was difficult due to the building lay out and the volume of fire throughout the second floor. The motel had 120 units, 60 were occupied.
The fire appeared to have originated in unit 246. The occupant rushed out leaving the door open and the flames rapidly spread, additional occupants did the same, causing the fire to blow down the hallways like a horizontal chimney, fueled by a light wind.
The bulk of the damage occurred on the second floor. Flames and smoke damaged approximately 50 units, and multiple units on the first floor suffered water damage. The motel was equipped with smoke alarms, not with fire sprinklers.
The flames were confined to the motel and no nearby structures were damaged. A total of 147 firefighters (including those initially dispatched and additional firefighters assisting with overhaul), all under the command of Battalion Chief Don Reyes, extinguished the flames in one hour and 16 minutes. Firefighters remained in an offensive attack.
The LAFD worked closely with various departments and organizations including CERT. The Emergency Management Department played a key role in collaborating the with the American Red Cross and with Recreation and Parks to open up the Delano Recreation Center for the approximately 50 displaced residents. Additionally, Metropolitan Transportation Authority was utilized to transport these residents from the fire scene to the shelter location. LAPD assisted with scene security and authentication of proper occupants during the collection of personal property.
A total of four persons were treated on scene. Three patients ranging from a five month-old female to a 32 year-old female, all with non-life-threatening injuries were transported to local hospitals. No one was burned.
The cause of the fire is Undetermined, and remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson Section. The estimated dollar loss is still being tabulated.
Dispatched Units: E39 E288 T88 E90 RA881 E100 RA100 E289 T89 EM14 BC5 BC10 E102 E81 BC14 E489 E7 E273 T73 E293 T93 DC1 EM17 BC12 UR88 T27 E227 E27 UR27 BC5 AR2 RA27 RA39 EA1 E290 T90 E261 T61 E105 E83 RA88 RA90 EM9 T60 E260 E5 E26 T12 E212 E27 DC1 BC14 T39 E239
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department
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