LAFD News – South Bureau
January 20, 2017
VERMONT KNOLLS – Four children were dramatically rescued by firefighters, when flames erupted in a one story South Los Angeles home late Monday night.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 10:51 PM on January 16, 2017 to 861 West Manchester Avenue in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood, where firefighters arrived swiftly to find heavy fire showing from the front portion of a 432 square-foot one story residential bungalow.
As first-arriving LAFD crews sprinted toward the home with hoselines and ladders, bystanders shouted that several people remained trapped inside the freely burning residence, which was almost entirely secured with window security bars and steel screen doors. Circling quickly to the rear side of the heat and smoke charged building, one Los Angeles Firefighter found and forced open an un-barred window, and without hesitation or the benefit of a hoseline, climbed into the maelstrom to rescue four young children from untenably hot and smokey conditions.
Handing the badly injured and nearly lifeless siblings from zero visibility conditions within to waiting colleagues outside, the firefighter was himself able to escape unharmed before the room spiraled to a temperature that would have assuredly taken the children’s lives.
As the children’s mother – who returned from a local errand to find her house in flames – looked on, teams of LAFD Paramedics provided simultaneous care for her severely burned two, three and five year-old sons, and her seven year-old daughter, before transporting them in critical condition to an area hospital.
The ninety assigned firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Eric Talamantes confined the fire to the structure, extinguishing the flames in just 16 minutes, before commencing an hours-long overhaul of the burned building and salvage of posessions.
No other injuries were reported.
Though the 93 year-old home was equipped with at least one smoke alarm, its functional status at the time of the fire could not be immediately determined. The building was not equipped with optional residential fire sprinklers.
Volunteers from the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team and American Red Cross provided support at the scene, and later met the uninjured mother and a grandmother at the hospital to help with their recovery and resilience.
Monetary loss from the greater alarm fire is still being tabulated. Pursuant to protocol, the cause of the blaze remains under active investigation by the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section.
Dispatched Units: E57 RA57 RA857 E264 E64 T64 E233 E33 T33 BC13 BC11 E66 RA257 RA64 E266 T66 E46 CM22 EM13 EM11 EM1 BC18 T5 E205 E5 UR5 RA5 HR56 UR88 BC4 RA264 RA66 RA33 RA266 RA46 AR1 PH1 AR2 AR9