Just after 3:30 AM on January 22, 2013, local firefighters returning from a medical emergency on 12th Street located a structure fire at1001 South Palos Verdes Street in San Pedro, before any 9-1-1 calls were received.
A 14 unit two-story Center Hallway Hotel, built in 1923, had one unit on the first floor well involved in flames that were lapping up to the second story.
The blaze spread rapidly causing one adult female occupant to jump from the second story due to extreme heat and smoke and suffered a severe fracture. Additional occupants were threatening to jump, however firefighters swiftly raised ladders to the second story windows and rescued occupants hanging out of them.
Additional Companies were immediately requested. Firefighters made an aggressive interior attack with hose-lines while colleagues performed vertical ventilation with chainsaws to release hot gasses and heat, assisting the attack, control, and ability to extinguish the fire.
Simultaneously a rapid search of the 7,748 square-foot building ensued, and all occupants were promptly evacuated.
A total of 150 Los Angeles Firefighters, under the command of Assistant Chief Patrick Butler, extinguished the blaze in 34 minutes. Seven of the 14 units were damaged, two extensively.
All 12 of the injured that required transport to local hospitals were triaged as needing "immediate" medical assistance, one of which suffered third degree burns. Among those transported was a police officer who suffered smoke inhalation trying to get people out of the building. Firefighters also rescued a cat, provided it with oxygen and searched for a missing small dog.
A MTA bus provided temporary shelter from the cold for the approximate 30 displaced occupants, until assistance from the American Red Cross was received.
The cause of the fire remains under active investigation by LAFD's Arson Section who is utilizing an Accelerant Detecting K9 to assist. There were functional smoke alarms, but no fire sprinklers.
Dispatched Units: E112 E248 E48 T48 RA848 E36 RA36 E285 T85 EM13 BC6 BC13 E49 RA101 RA85 EM11 E101 E40 E264 T64 E221 T21 SQ21 DC1 EM1 BC11 E85 UR85 T5 E205 UR88 BC4 T33 E233 RA112 E38 RA38 E79 RA79 RA264 RA64 E57 RA257 E226 T26 E295 T95 E211 T11 AR1 E65 E64 RA17 RA46 RA21 AR7 RA5 RA101 AR9 RA112 RA101 RA848 RT40 T94 E294This fire "is being treated as criminal in nature''. -LAFD PIO Captain Jaime Moore.
"It is fortunate firefighters arrived so quickly to this tragic incident, even before a 9-1-1 call was received, and were able to rapidly rescue occupants hanging from second story windows." -Erik Scott, LAFD Spokesman.
Los Angeles Fire Department
500 East Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012