Five Firefighters Received Minor Injuries During Defensive Fire Attack

At 11:55 AM yesterday, Long Beach Fire Department units responded to reports of a structure fire at 3400 East 1st Street. The first fire engine arrived at 11:57 AM. Engine 2 reported finding a 2-story, single family home with heavy fire observed on the first floor. The firefighters initiated an aggressive interior attack and began vertical ventilation operations to support fire suppression activities. It was immediately determined that the owner of the home had escaped the fire and that he was alone when the fire started. There were no other reports of occupants inside the building.

As interior conditions worsened and the fire intensified and spread rapidly throughout the house, a decision was made to transition from an “offensive” fire attack to a “defensive” fire attack. This was done in order confine the fire to the building of origin and prevent the spread of fire to surrounding homes. A 2nd Alarm was requested at 12:28 PM. Firefighters were pulled out of the involved home and began exterior fire attack operations from manned hose streams and elevated “master” streams off of Truck 1 and Truck 17.

Two residents, a father and son, were displaced by the fire. One resident, an 85 year old male, escaped the fire. The other resident, a 27 year old male was at work at the time of the fire. The 85 year old male was transported to a local area hospital for further evaluation based on complaints consistent with smoke inhalation. The family had two pets that were also home at the time of the fire. One dog was found dead at the scene while a cat remained unaccounted for. Long Beach Animal Control was requested to provide additional support.

At the height of the fire, there were over 50 firefighters assigned to the incident. Knockdown occurred at approximately 1:00PM. Five firefighters received minor injuries during the course of the fire. Three firefighters sustained minor burns, one firefighter sustained a laceration to his hand, and the other firefighter suffered a shoulder injury. Fire Department units remained on-scene throughout the afternoon to monitor the fire for additional “hot spots.” The last unit cleared the scene at 6:16 PM. The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation. However, fire investigators have ruled the fire as an “accidental heating fire” that started in a bedroom on the first floor of the home.

The American Red Cross Disaster Action Team also responded and provided additional support to the displaced residents. A $100.00 Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) Card was also issued to the family through a state-wide victim assistance program supported by the Long Beach Fire Department in partnership with the California Fire Foundation.