Los Angeles CA Greater Alarm Fire in Commercial Structure 9/12/23

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Apr 1, 2007
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Don't know how many alarms were transmitted, because LAFD doesn't report that, but 16 engines, 8 trucks and quite a few supporting units were dispatched. In NY, that would be a 4th.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire; INC#0896; 01:06PM; 329 E 4th St; https://bit.ly/3r9PrB2; #Downtown; PRELIM: Defensive firefighting operations against heavy fire involving dense storage on the third floor of a 5,000 square foot three-story (plus basement) commercial building of masonry construction. ; FS 9; Batt 1; Central Bureau; Council District 14; BC1 BC11 BC2 BC5 CM20 CM21 CM22 E10 E11 E202 E203 E209 E210 E227 E27 E3 E4 E9 EA1 EM1 HR3 RA10 RA827 RA9 RI200 SO1 SQ21 T10 T2 T27 T3 T9 UR3 UR88; CH9; 12 13

UPDATE MAJOR EMERGENCY STRUCTURE FIRE #4THSTREETFIRE 09/12/2023 INC#0896
Update #4thStreetFire Major Emergency Structure Fire; INC#0896; 02:13PM; 329 E 4th St; https://bit.ly/3r9PrB2; #Downtown; With 125 LAFD Firefighters assigned in defensive operations, this incident, known as the "4th Street Fire" is now considered a Major Emergency. Heavy fire continues among dense storage on the second and third floors of the 5,000 square foot three-story (plus basement) commercial building of masonry construction (2 floors originally of 'office' space above first floor commercial). No injury. No evacuation. Two LAFD Public Information Officers (Captain Erik Scott / Captain Adam Van Gerpen) are available at Media Staging: 4th Street & San Pedro Street.; FS 9; Batt 1; Central Bureau; Council District 14; AR1 BC1 BC11 BC2 BC5 CM20 CM21 CM22 CM40 CM42 E1 E10 E11 E17 E202 E203 E209 E210 E211 E215 E227 E235 E27 E3 E4 E9 EA1 EM1 HR3 PI1 PI2 RA10 RA211 RA25 RA803 RA827 RA9 RI200 SO1 SQ21 T10 T11 T15 T2 T27 T3 T35 T9 UR3 UR88; CH9; 12 13;

Text courtesy LAFD, photo from Alertpage.

 

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Joined
Sep 25, 2013
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Don't know how many alarms were transmitted, because LAFD doesn't report that, but 16 engines, 8 trucks and quite a few supporting units were dispatched. In NY, that would be a 4th.

Greater Alarm Structure Fire; INC#0896; 01:06PM; 329 E 4th St; https://bit.ly/3r9PrB2; #Downtown; PRELIM: Defensive firefighting operations against heavy fire involving dense storage on the third floor of a 5,000 square foot three-story (plus basement) commercial building of masonry construction. ; FS 9; Batt 1; Central Bureau; Council District 14; BC1 BC11 BC2 BC5 CM20 CM21 CM22 E10 E11 E202 E203 E209 E210 E227 E27 E3 E4 E9 EA1 EM1 HR3 RA10 RA827 RA9 RI200 SO1 SQ21 T10 T2 T27 T3 T9 UR3 UR88; CH9; 12 13

UPDATE MAJOR EMERGENCY STRUCTURE FIRE #4THSTREETFIRE 09/12/2023 INC#0896
Update #4thStreetFire Major Emergency Structure Fire; INC#0896; 02:13PM; 329 E 4th St; https://bit.ly/3r9PrB2; #Downtown; With 125 LAFD Firefighters assigned in defensive operations, this incident, known as the "4th Street Fire" is now considered a Major Emergency. Heavy fire continues among dense storage on the second and third floors of the 5,000 square foot three-story (plus basement) commercial building of masonry construction (2 floors originally of 'office' space above first floor commercial). No injury. No evacuation. Two LAFD Public Information Officers (Captain Erik Scott / Captain Adam Van Gerpen) are available at Media Staging: 4th Street & San Pedro Street.; FS 9; Batt 1; Central Bureau; Council District 14; AR1 BC1 BC11 BC2 BC5 CM20 CM21 CM22 CM40 CM42 E1 E10 E11 E17 E202 E203 E209 E210 E211 E215 E227 E235 E27 E3 E4 E9 EA1 EM1 HR3 PI1 PI2 RA10 RA211 RA25 RA803 RA827 RA9 RI200 SO1 SQ21 T10 T11 T15 T2 T27 T3 T35 T9 UR3 UR88; CH9; 12 13;

Text courtesy LAFD, photo from Alertpage.

Incidents are classified by type and number of units.
In this example, this was a Structure Fire - initial response to confirmed fire. When additional units were called, it became a Greater Alarm Structure Fire. When more units were called, it became a Major Emergency Structure Fire.

8 of the 16 Engines are paired with the 8 Trucks (E202/T2, E203/T3, E209/T9, E210/T10, E211/T11, E215/T15, E227/T27, E235/T35) as a two-piece company with one crew and the Engine with driver (Engineer) only.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
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867
It is interesting that LAFD does not identify task forces per se anymore except as individual units (eg E10, E210, T10).

The Watts riot in South Central LA began on Wednesday August 11, 1965 with a drunk-driving arrest and lasted six days.

Two cultural themes would arise from this event.

The most popular urban DJ in LA then was the "Magnificent Montague" on radio station KGFJ. His on-air tagline was "Burn, Baby, Burn!". By this he meant "Keep cool, brother, Keep cool." The Watts' rioters would corrupt this into a rallying cry when they burned 261 buildings as they created the famed Charcoal Alley on East 103rd Street . "Burn, Baby, Burn!" would be heard later in the decade in Detroit, Washington, Chicago, and Newark.

LAFD was familiar with task forces from brush fire operations (and Europe), and had some two piece engine companies. It seems that the urban task force arose by accident on Friday night, August 11th. Engine and Truck 64 with two piece Engine 65, and Battalion13 responded to three cars on fire at Imperial and Avalon Boulevards. A mob destroyed both of 65's rigs . Afterwards, for safety, they moved into 64's quarters for the rest of the riot. Acting Chief Engineer Raymond Hill had everyone use riot operating orders familiar today- respond together with police protection, use one hydrant, minimize ladders, exterior operations, no overhaul, pick-up and move on to the next one!

In the aftermath, Hill liked the task force concept so much that he created a heavy duty task force at Station 9 on Skid Row, Downtown ( they claim still to be the busiest fire house in the country). Later, the task force roster would be refined into an engine, wagon, and tillered aerial with a ten man crew.
 
Joined
May 11, 2022
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In Los Angeles instead of 2nd Alarm, 3rd Alarm, etc., the incident commander will advise that they need x number of additional companies each time they need more.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
836
In Los Angeles instead of 2nd Alarm, 3rd Alarm, etc., the incident commander will advise that they need x number of additional companies each time they need more.
1 - 6 companies is an Incident
7-15 companies is a Greater Alarm
15+ companies is a Major Emergency

Category A is 4 companies, one a truck at least
Category B is 6 companies, two trucks at least
 
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