A raging fire destroyed a Boyle Heights import business Wednesday and three firefighters were injured, one critically, when the roof of the sprawling warehouse-type structure collapsed beneath their feet.
The fire broke out for unknown reasons around 12:45 p.m. at the Passion Imports building in the 2800 block of East Pico Boulevard. Arriving crews found the structure well-involved in flames with a thick plume of black smoke rising into the air.
Crews began pouring water on the structure and worked to vent the roof of the 16,000-square-foot building, with initial reports indicating that as many as a dozen people might be inside, according to Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott.
A short time later, the roof gave way, and three firefighters who were on top of the building fell inside the burning structure, Scott said. All three suffered burn injuries, with one of them taken to a hospital in critical condition and the other two listed as fair, he said.
KNBC-TV NBC 4 Los Angeles
San Luis Obispo Fire Chief Garret Olson — whose six years of leadership have been marked by improvements in safety and technology but also a costly controversy — is retiring after a 30-year firefighting career.
Olson, whose last day is set for Oct. 30, updated firefighters’ protective gear and older city facilities, upgraded the radio system and established a fire apparatus replacement program, according to city officials.
He also championed the city’s participation in the PulsePoint smart-phone app, which anyone can download to be notified if someone in their vicinity is suffering from a heart attack and 911 has been called. The systems allows for a potentially quicker CPR response if citizens can arrive faster than first responders, potentially saving lives because of the short window in a dire cardiac emergency.
San Luis Obispo County Tribune
As Anaheim Fire Chief Randy Bruegman’s retirement approaches, he discusses the future of firefighting and allows that if departments fail to change it could mean fewer men and women prepared to battle infernos.
Along with more mega wildfires and tornadoes of flame never seen before in modern history, the chief points out that 85 percent of calls are for emergency medical service.
“If we don’t adapt,” he warns, “we’ll be challenged to be relevant and worthwhile.”
While we talk, I glance at a collection of fire helmets that attest to the chief’s positions over his 43-year career. I also steal a look at a series of photographs of sooty firefighters that silently speak to heroism, sacrifice and honor.
But it’s a photo of a man dressed in red and gold robes that best captures both the chief’s approach to running a fire department as well as the chief himself.
That would be the Dalai Lama.
Orange County Register
Memorial service information has been released following the passing of Chico Fire Captain, Joe Duran.
Captain Duran passed away on September 12 following a battle with job-related cancer. Because of the presumptive nature of the cancer, his passing has been deemed a Line of Duty Death.
Captain Duran spent nearly three decades as a firefighter with the City of Chico, rising to the rank of Captain and service as the leader of the Chico Fire Department's Rescue Team.
Division Chief Wes Metroka said, "Captain Duran was a valued member of the City of Chico Fire Department and served his community with honor and distinction until his health forced him to retire in August of 2017".
Services for Captain Duran will be held on Friday, September 21 at 11:30 a.m. at the Bidwell Presbyterian Church in Chico.
KRCR-TV ABC 7 & KCVU-TV Fox 20
An Oakhurst woman is sharing her story after surviving the unimaginable.
Jessica Woodington, 31, was in a head-on collision two months ago in Oakhurst.
The other driver did not survive, but out of tragedy, there's now friendship.
Firefighters from Fire Station 12 in Oakhurst responded to a called back on July 24.
But before they could get there, they said a few Good Samaritans helped them, help save Woodington's life.
"Give me a hug, thank you so much," she expressed to the First Responder.
"Oh of course, of course, I'm so glad you're OK," said Brent Sanders, a firefighter for Station 12 in Madera County.
It's a reunion Woodington wasn't sure she'd live to see.
"Man, I gotta tell you I was dying for you to get there," she said to Sanders.
KGPE-TV CBS 47 Fresno
California’s largest-ever wildland fire, a 7-week-old inferno that raged mostly across northern Lake County, scorching hundreds of thousands of acres of national forest, has been declared fully contained, Forest Service officials said Wednesday.
The Ranch fire was the giant among a pair of blazes called the Mendocino Complex that erupted an hour apart July 27 in Mendocino County and swept east, spurring evacuation orders affecting thousands of residents across four counties. Together, the fires burned a total of 459,123 acres — more than 700 square miles — and destroyed 280 structures, including 157 homes.
The lone fatality was a Utah firefighter who was killed last month battling the Ranch fire.
About 460 firefighters remained assigned to the blaze Wednesday, accompanied by seven engines, a helicopter and 45 bulldozers. With flames corralled, crews will shift their focus to repairing the 22 miles of fireline surrounding the blaze, as well as restoring burned areas, according to the Forest Service, which took over command of the fire last month.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat