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“Pack Rat” Conditions Found at Apartment Fire On The 200 Block of Atlantic Avenue

By frhayes | September 10, 2009

  On Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 6:23 A.M. Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) units Battalion Chief 1, Engine 1, Engine 101, Engine 2, Truck 1, Rescue 1, and Arson investigators 1&2 responded to a reported Apartment Fire at 225 ATLANTIC AVE, LONG BEACH, CA 90802. Engine 2, the first arriving unit, arrived within four (4) minutes from time of dispatch and broadcast to all other responding units that “smoke and fire was showing from a rear window of a two (2) story duplex”. Engine 2 advanced a hose line into a rear bedroom on the first floor that was fully involved and conducted a coordinated search of the occupancy for any residents. The fire was extinguished and held in check, isolated to only the first floor with no extension to the second story. Other LBFD units assisted with smoke evacuation while conducting salvage and overhaul of the affected unit. There was one resident who suffered from smoke inhalation that was treated by Rescue 1.  “Pack Rat” conditions were found in the apartment building by advancing fire crews that blocked the rear egress door. Fortunately this did not hamper escape routes of the residents or trap any firefighters in the engulfed unit. These conditions could have had deadly consequences, in addition to this it is unknown if any smoke detectors were in “proper working order” to alert the residents of the fire.  There was a basement in the building that was also searched for victims and extension, with an “all clear” of any victims, and no extension occurring.  The Building was turned over to the Arson Bureau, who are still in the process of investigating the cause of the fire. All utilities remained intact, however the occupants of the unit were displaced due to the fire. This incident occurred on the border between council districts 1 and 2, with  a total of 9 LBFD apparatus and 19 personnel responding to this call, who worked on this incident for approximately 2 hours.

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