UPDATED: WeHo Fire Report 🔥 October 2023

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Battalion Chief Jeff Swingle of the Los Angeles County Fire Department presented a monthly report for October 2023 to West Hollywood’s Public Safety Commission at their meeting Monday night.

Swingle detailed that there were a total of 15 fires in October, including two small structure fires caused by electrical issues, one on the 7300 block of Santa Monica Boulevard and the other on Martell. Additionally, there were 13 rubbish or outdoor fires, with a noted hotspot for these fires at Fairfax and Fountain.

Swingle mentioned the trend of shifting targets for outdoor fires in West Hollywood, highlighting a significant number of them, with the current hotspot being at Fairfax and Fountain. He emphasized the quick action of firefighters in addressing these fires, particularly the structure fires related to electrical malfunctions. In addition to fire response, firefighters are actively involved in 20-22 medical calls per day and fire prevention efforts. The department maintains a proactive presence in neighborhoods to deter and rapidly respond to incidents.

In terms of medical assistance, firefighters assisted 453 patients, with 103 requiring advanced life support and 215 receiving basic life support. A total of 318 patients were transported. Among these, 65 cases were categorized as major injuries, necessitating advanced life support. The department also reported a high incidence of person sick and unconscious cases, typical for West Hollywood, zero hazmat calls, three hazardous condition calls, 23 service calls, and 179 good intent calls, which Swingle praised as they reflect community vigilance and prompt assessment needs.

Regarding the Halloween Carnaval event, it was reported as a success, managed in unified command with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department. Firefighters handled 45 responses during the event, with six outside and 39 inside the Carnival’s footprint. Three patients were transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. The medical tent was particularly crucial in assessing patient conditions, leading to several non-transport decisions, and instances of patients leaving against medical advice or eloping. Swingle clarified that most of these interactions were due to people partying too hard, noting that there were no significant trauma patients. He explained that calls were generated through 911 or by direct observation or public flagging down of firefighters. 

The commission asked for references and resources for renters and small landlords to ensure buildings are up to fire code standards. This inquiry came after a commissioner shared a personal experience of being trapped due to egress doors being locked in violation of fire codes. Swingle responded by advising him to contact the jurisdictional fire station or Battalion Chief for any clarifications regarding fire codes. He emphasized that the fire department is responsible for addressing issues like blocked access or lack of panic hardware in buildings. Swingle suggested Community Safety Director Danny Rivas could best address such issues. The commission was also informed about contacting the code enforcement division of the city for issues beyond the jurisdiction of the fire station.

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Commissioner Brandon Blau highlighted the role of the city’s code enforcement staff in conducting habitability inspections, noting that the community can reach out to the code enforcement division through the city’s website or its official app. Assistant Chief Smith added that code enforcement, building inspection staff, and fire prevention units work closely with local fire stations on habitability issues, particularly those concerning ingress and egress.

Commissioner George Nickle brought up the issue of rubbish fires at Fountain and Fairfax, particularly concerning an abandoned building at the northwest corner, which had been a repeated problem. Swingle confirmed that this was an ongoing issue, and they are working with the Sheriff’s Department to maintain a presence in such hotspots. He further noted that code enforcement had an open case on that property and was working with the property owner to address the issues.

The commission inquired about the installation of a new stoplight at Station 8, which Swingle confirmed was close to becoming operational. 

A question was raised about a fire in an emergency evacuation stairwell at the Ralph’s located at Fountain and La Brea on the Detroit side. This area was noted as being frequently visited by transient individuals and was described as an ongoing problem. 

Swingle acknowledged that the fire was small in nature and did not significantly impact the Ralph’s store. However, there were no specific details provided about this particular fire. The respondent noted that if the fire had been larger or had significantly impacted the Ralphs, it would have been more widely known. The discussion then broadened to address the general issue of fires in areas with transient populations. It was mentioned that these fires are often small but frequent, and the fire department’s objective is to keep these fires contained while investigating their origins through the arson Investigation Unit.

During the public comment period, resident Rick Ross spoke about fire hazards on Sweetzer. He mentioned concerns about transients accessing the property and finding a gas can, underlining the ongoing hazard of the area. Ross further elaborated on potential dangers, especially in the context of strong Santa Ana winds, which could escalate a fire into a larger disaster affecting nearby residences. He urged necessary actions and resources to be allocated to address these hazards effectively.

 


 

 

The Los Angeles Fire Department will present the latest fire report for the City of West Hollywood to the Public Safety Commission on Monday night. 

The comprehensive report covering October showcases the fire department’s response to a total of 673 calls, ranging from fires to medical emergencies and hazardous material (HazMat) situations. Among the array of incidents, several stand out for their unique nature or the challenges they presented to the responders.

Among the more routine yet concerning incidents were multiple rubbish fires at various locations, including Larrabee St, and the intersection of Fairfax & Fountain. These incidents, often underestimated, can escalate quickly, posing significant risks to public safety and property.

Cooking fires also made the list, occurring at residences on Orange Grove Ave and Palm Ave. These incidents serve as a reminder of the everyday dangers present in the home, highlighting the need for constant vigilance in the kitchen.

The report detailed a significant structure fire at 7316 Santa Monica Blvd and another at 1016 Martel Ave. The Martel Ave incident, in particular, resulted in substantial property damage, amounting to $40,300, with an additional $500 in content loss. These incidents underscore the destructive potential of structural fires, whether in commercial or residential settings.

A notable incident involving a passenger vehicle fire added to the diversity of the fire department’s October challenges. Vehicle fires, while less frequent than structure or cooking fires, pose unique dangers due to the presence of flammable liquids and the potential for rapid spread.

The report also included responses to hazardous material situations and hazardous conditions like gas leaks and power line downs. These types of incidents require specialized skills and equipment, showcasing the fire department’s preparedness to handle a wide range of emergencies.]

 

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Carleton cro9nin
7 months ago

CERT teaches Residents how to deal with kitchen fires as well as how to properly use fire extinguishers. Why doesn’t the city sponsor CERT?

Curtis
Curtis
7 months ago

I thought the city of West Hollywood did offer CERT trainings a few months ago

Joshua88
Joshua88
7 months ago
Reply to  Curtis

They did.

Our building “mgr” needs to attend these meetings, as she seems utterly clueless.

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