Tag Archives: fire sprinkler

Fire at West L.A. High-Rise Sends Residents Scrambling for Safety; Two Critically Injured | Corona, CA

By Hannah Fry, Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Luke Money, Sonja Sharp

JAN. 29, 2020 9:54 PM

A fire broke out Wednesday morning in a 25-story Westside residential building, sending residents climbing out windows and fleeing to the rooftop to escape the flames. The blaze, which erupted on the sixth floor at the Barrington Plaza apartments in the 11700 block of Wilshire Boulevard, was reported shortly after 8:30 a.m. by fire crews, who were tending a nearby blaze that had begun earlier.

At least 300 firefighters responded to help battle the fire and evacuate residents inside the building. Eleven residents were injured; seven were sent to a hospital for treatment, including a 3-month-old baby, and four were treated at the scene. Most were suffering from smoke inhalation. Two firefighters suffered minor burns.

One 30-year-old man required CPR and was listed in grave condition Wednesday afternoon, and another 30-year-old man was in critical condition, according to Los Angeles Fire Capt. Erik Scott. “The preliminary information is the two most critically injured … were both in the unit of fire origin,” Scott said.

Fire officials initially reported that some people had jumped from the building to escape the flames. Authorities later clarified that two people contemplated jumping but were rescued by fire officials. Residents crawled on their bellies through thick smoke to escape. One man was seen clinging to a ledge before a fire ladder was hoisted up to him. “This could have been much worse,” Scott said.

Fire officials said residents won’t be allowed back into the building overnight while they investigate the blaze, which was deemed suspicious.

Firefighters took an unconventional approach in battling the flames, hosing the building from the outside in an effort to cool the units before allowing firefighters to tackle the flames inside. The bulk of the fire was on the sixth floor of the 240-unit high-rise, though three other levels were damaged by smoke, officials said.

While some crews focused on the fire inside, others were tasked with evacuations. At least 15 people, some in bathrobes, were airlifted to safety from the building’s rooftop. Officials said it was the first time the fire chopper had been used in rescue efforts. “This was a herculean effort by the members of the Los Angeles Fire Department,” said Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. “It takes a lot of coordination, and our resources did a good job.”

After an intense, hourlong battle that was made more challenging by strong winds gusting up to 35 mph, firefighters were able to knock down the flames shortly before 10 a.m. Deputy Police Chief Justin Eisenberg said the Los Angeles Police Department and arson investigators were studying the blaze to determine whether it was criminal or accidental. No one has been arrested in connection with the fire, he said. The separate fire that started earlier in the morning about three blocks away also is part of the investigation.

Mackenzie Williams, 25, said she was driving to work at Pure Barre — a fitness studio at Wilshire Boulevard and Granville Avenue — about 9 a.m. when she “saw one firetruck pass by me, then I saw two, then I saw 10, then I saw about 20, so I definitely knew something was going on.” After seeing smoke pouring from the building and the helicopter evacuations, she said, “I just hope everyone is OK over there.”

John Tavakoli was outside when the floor where his grandmother lives burst into flames. As firefighters rushed to evacuate her and her neighbors, his initial horror settled into smoldering rage — another fire like this one had burned here a few years ago, but little had changed. Like others, he blamed the revolving door of short-term renters for unsafe conditions in the building.

“A lot of people Airbnb here.” he said. “They party all night — they’re up until 2 a.m. on a Tuesday.”

Meanwhile, he said, safety issues have gone unaddressed.

“Our rent goes up, utilities go up, but one elevator’s always broken,” he said.

Resident Gavyn Straus stood barefoot on the sidewalk, holding a towel around his American-flag bathing suit as he watched a Sheriff’s Department helicopter hoisting stranded neighbors off the roof. He had been in the pool swimming laps when he turned his head for a breath and noticed the smoke. Right away, he leaped out of the pool and dashed up to alert neighbors on his floor.

The smoke “was like a black wall” on the seventh floor, he said. Higher up, he started banging on doors, telling neighbors to get out.

Twins Kristina and Kimberly Pagano, recent UCLA grads, were asleep in their apartment when the fire broke out. They woke up to the sound of firetrucks. Moments later, the building fire alarm went off, and they rushed outside.

Both immediately thought of the 2013 fire, believed to have been sparked by a cigarette. The building still allows residents to smoke in their units on designated floors, which the sisters had toured before moving in. Like others, they said the building hosts a large number of short-term visitors.

“We always see people with luggage,” Kristina said.

“It’s like a hotel,” Kimberly agreed.

Officials have said that there is no indication the fire was caused by anyone smoking inside or that it broke out in a unit rented as an Airbnb. The building is covered by L.A.’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which limits annual rent increases for tenants, but some of its units are exempt from that law, according to housing department spokeswoman Sandra Mendoza. Under an ordinance that went into effect last year, Angelenos cannot rent out their apartments for short stays if they live in a rent-stabilized unit.

The 2013 fire erupted on the 11th floor of the building, displacing up to 150 residents and injuring two people. It also raised concerns about a lack of sprinkler systems in some buildings in Los Angeles. Barrington Plaza was not equipped with a sprinkler system at the time. Because it was built nearly 60 years ago, it does not fall under state regulations later adopted that forced buildings taller than 75 feet to include such fire-suppression systems unless granted an exemption.

Los Angeles has a loophole in its fire code that allows 71 residential high-rises to house tenants despite having no fire sprinklers in the buildings. The structures were built between 1943 and 1974, when new codes required sprinklers.

Deputy Chief Armando Hogan said Wednesday the building still does not have sprinklers. There have been repeated attempts to require older buildings to install sprinkler systems, including a push after Barrington Plaza’s last fire, but landlords at the time argued they would cost too much.

A year ago, the City Council again tabled a proposal to require sprinklers in all buildings. One of the sponsors of the measure said the issue lost momentum amid opposition from landlords, but Councilman Mike Bonin said he will reintroduce a mandate for sprinklers in light of the latest blaze.

Curtis Massey, chief executive of fire safety consulting company Massey Emergency Management, said the sprinkler systems typically seen in modern high-rises quickly douse flames before they have a chance to spread. “It’s like an on-duty 24-hour firefighter that’s able to respond faster in most circumstances to a fire than the building staff or the fire department,” said Massey, whose company has worked on fire preparedness plans for Century Plaza and the Wilshire Grand Center.

Modern fire safety features also include elevator and stairwell-pressurization systems that keep the smoke out of those areas, he said.

In 2014, a group of tenants in the high-rise sued the building’s corporate owner for negligence. According to residents, several fire alarms failed to sound in Barrington Plaza as the October 2013 blaze spread. A door to the roof was locked and the stairwells filled with choking smoke, tenants said. “The conditions at the supposedly high-end apartment building were atrocious,” attorney Mark Geragos said at the time.

Resident Ivo Gerscovich’s 2-year-old daughter and father-in-law were found unconscious in a smoke-filled stairwell above the 20th floor during the 2013 fire. “It’s a deathtrap,” Gerscovich said then. “It’s totally insane and indefensible.” Ben Meiselas, an attorney with Geragos’ firm, said the building “is a relic of the 1960s.” “It conformed to codes of the 1960s, and since that time, they’ve availed themselves through grandfather clauses of the building codes of that bygone era,” he said.

Meiselas said building owners should be required to prominently display whether their structures adhere to current codes. “You have this building that advertises itself as a class-A luxury building, but back in 2013, at least, it really had fundamental safety issues,” he said.

Residents said that they weren’t aware of any additional safety measures. “This situation really scares me,” said Ploy Pengsomboon, who was able to evacuate from her ninth-floor unit only after smelling smoke and hearing firetruck sirens. “I’m scared if one day I’m in a deep sleep and something like this happens. I didn’t get a chance to prepare. They should tell everyone to get out and shouldn’t let us learn about it ourselves.”

The blaring of a fire alarm woke 84-year-old Dan Karzen, who has lived in Barrington Plaza for 20 years. “I had my pajamas on, so I had to hurry to put some clothes on, grab my phone and walk out the door of my 16th-floor apartment,” Karzen said. “I knew it was bad because there was all this smoke.”

After leaving the building, he crossed the street to a strip mall, where he stopped to await word from fire officials. “I don’t know when we’re going to go back in, and I don’t want to leave because all my stuff is up there,” he said.

When Liz Bowers was jolted awake by sirens, she smelled smoke and immediately thought it couldn’t be another fire, remembering the 2013 blaze. But when she looked out her window, there it was. “I was like … it’s Tower A again,” she said. She had a clear view of the flames and clouds of black smoke. She could hear screams and windows blowing out from the heat of the flames. Bowers ran downstairs to the public pool area shared by the two buildings and continued watching as firefighters worked to quell the flames and rescue residents. After witnessing the dramatic events, she decided she’d had enough. She needs to move out.

Bowers thought about all the times she could smell cigarette and marijuana smoke from her apartment, the result of little oversight from building managers, she said. She spent three years knocking on the leasing office’s door, writing letters and making phone calls to building managers. Eventually, she gave up. “They should have put sprinklers in after the [2013] fire,” she said. “They let everybody smoke. There’s a lot of Airbnb [rentals]. You get all these people coming into party and smoke pot. The landlords don’t care.”

Times staff writers Matt Stiles, Dakota Smith, Colleen Shalby, Andrew J. Campa, Emily Alpert Reyes, James Rainey and Matthew Ormseth contributed to this report.

For more information about our services, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire | Corona, CA

Fire Sprinklers SystemsPicture it…It’s Friday night and you are having a night in with friends. You pop a couple of pizzas in the oven, crack open the beverages and start to catch up with everyone. After a while, someone notices there seems to be smoke in the air but you’re having such a great time, you chalk it up to the pizza and go back to socializing. Then all of a sudden, your living room begins to fill with smoke. You call the fire department and evacuate the premises. It is scary, quite the surprise and more of a wake-up call than you would care to admit. Because you find out that the fire was started not by pizza in the oven, but a pillow that caught on fire from a nearby candle.

Many times, a tragedy can be initiated by our own carelessness. One way we can prepare for these flamed accidents is to equip your home with fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and even fire sprinklers. Think sprinklers is a bit over the top? If a fire sprinkler system was available, that sprinkler system could quickly take care of the fire, even before firefighters arrive. Not only will it minimize both fire and water damages but ensure no one was injured. With fire sprinklers going off and extinguishing the fire, this story could prevent a tragic ending. Don’t hesitate when it comes to fire protection – residential sprinkler systems can save lives. Make a call to CJ Suppression for more information about residential fire sprinkler systems.

For more information about fire sprinkler systems, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Stay Safe this Summer with Fire Prevention | Corona, CA

Contrary to popular belief, we are not at high risk for fires in hotels or other public places. But, in fact, our biggest threats are at home, where we typically feel our safest. And since much of our summertime fun involves BBQs and fun with friends and family, it is important to be ready for any type of fire danger, from accidental fires at home to wildfires that pop up without warning. One way to do this is with fire sprinklers. You may not automatically think about fire sprinklers in our homes, but home fires can cause property damage, or far worse – take the lives of our loved ones.

Nearly, 2,500 people lose their lives each year in home fires in the United States. It can be nerve wracking to think about these statistics, however, this should be a reason to consider installing fire sprinklers in your home.

Because Hollywood makes an exaggerated image of everything, including fires, many people seem to think that when a fire occurs, the entire system goes off & soaks the place down. This is false. When one fire sprinkler is triggered, the rest do not activate. Nearly 85 percent of the time only one fire sprinkler activates during a fire, which as mentioned earlier, results in significantly less property damage when compared to a fire hose. And now that homes are burning more quickly than before due to having larger spaces and lightweight construction materials, having a fire suppression system is extremely important.

Summertime is a fun time for getting outside and enjoying the weather. Make sure you have one less worry by having fire sprinklers installed in your home.

For more information about fire extinguishers, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

In-Home Sprinkler Systems: What You Need to Know | Corona, CA

Conducting regular maintenance and inspections for residential sprinklers are always a good idea, especially if you have a family you need to protect. Besides, they’re not even that difficult to do and you can easily do it yourself. Here are a few tips to protecting your property:

Make visual checks on all your shutoff valves. The first step is to make a visual check on all the water shutoff valves to see if they’re all open and if the storage tank is full.

Conduct flow tests periodically. Flow tests are also a definite must and should be conducted every few months. Having a system with a clearly-labeled flow-test valve that sprinkles to the outside can help tremendously in this regard. To test, simply open the valve slowly and let the water run its course for more than a minute.

Check the sprinkler components. Make sure that the sprinkler heads and cover plates are not painted over as this will cause problems with their operation.

Use visual signs. Majority of hazards resulting from sprinklers often result from locking the sprinkler valves in the closed position by mistake. Placing signs near the sprinkler components can help remind you and anyone in your house or building what the correct positions are.

Secure the control valves. If your valves are connected to your fire alarm system, you can supervise them electronically. You can also try putting up LO/TO signs to prevent unauthorized closures.

If you have doubts about whether you’ve checked it properly or not, check with your local fire marshal regarding laws regarding sprinklers your area and how to know if a sprinkler inspector is licensed and legitimate.

For more information about in-home fire sprinklers, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

Accepting patients from Chino, Ontario, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Fontana and all surrounding areas.

Ways to Protect Your Home During Your Holiday Feasts | Corona, CA

A fire broke out Thanksgiving Eve in a New Hampshire home. A resident of the home came home to find the couch on fire. The fire was just about out thanks to the home’s fire sprinklers. Firefighter made sure the fire was out and removed the smoldering couch. An investigation discovered a lamp inside the home caused the fire. The lamp fell onto the couch when no one was home and the heat from the lamp started the fire. If not for the fire sprinklers, the home could have been consumed by flames.

This was a random occurrence that took place because no one was around to watch it happen. But there are quite a few instances that could cause a fire during Thanksgiving. We have deep-fried turkeys cooking on the porch, we have tons of delicious foods in the oven and on the stovetop. Every year deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and more than $15-million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Which state has the most accidents? For the last seven years, Texas has led the country in most grease- and cooking-related insurance claims on Thanksgiving Day, with 38 according to insurance company State Farm.  Illinois follows, with 27 reports and Pennsylvania and Ohio are tied for third with 23.  New York ranked fourth, with 22 claims and South Carolina and Georgia claimed fifth with 16 claims each.

Thanksgiving is a holiday for family, friends and food. Make sure you protect yourself and stay safe.

 

Prevent Accidental Fires with Fire Sprinklers | Corona, CA

Accidental fires always have the potential to devastate and even end lives. Though, the risk is even more imminent with high-rise buildings. This is because fire fighters often have a hard time dealing with fires in such places. This is mostly because of how hard it is for them to reach the higher floors of such buildings.

It’s no secret that flames can grow and spread rather quickly. Though, when it comes to fires, it’s not the flames that you have to worry most about. Rather, you have to worry more about the rising temperature and the toxic gases that can kill you if you inhale enough of it. While most cities are equipped with competent and able firefighters and fire departments, it’s not like they can teleport directly onto the scene of the fire. It typically takes fire fighters around 10 minutes to arrive at the scene. By then, the fire may have already spread too much, damaging most of the establishment and leaving families displaced, or in worse cases, lives lost.

With fire sprinklers, however, such disasters can be prevented. Even if the fire sprinklers aren’t able to fully extinguish the fire, it can contain the flames enough to allow residents enough time to escape safely without inhaling much of the toxic gases. To put simply, fire sprinklers can prevent fires from becoming such huge disasters, all at the fraction of the cost of what it usually would to repair any damage resulting from accidental fires.

For more information about fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

Accepting patients from Chino, Ontario, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Fontana and all surrounding areas.

Fire Sprinklers Save Lives | New Construction | Serving Chino, CA

new-construction-fire-sprinkler

 

A fire broke out at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Goleta, CA. The blaze started in the laundry room and was held at bay by the buildings fire sprinkler system. Thanks to the fire sprinklers fire fighters were able to quickly put the fire out.

When you think of fire suppression, the first thought generally lies in fire extinguishers. But when an extinguisher isn’t enough to contain the blaze, fire sprinkler systems help do the job. The water supply system consists of a variety of pipes used to distribute water to various areas of a building quickly. Sprinklers are then put in place and are used to extinguish the fire as soon as it is detected, making them ideal for large scale buildings as they await assistance from the local fire department.

Fire sprinkler systems have proven time and again to help save buildings and homes from fire. Not only do they protect your business investments, but they can also save you and your loved ones at home. It’s true. Fire sprinkler systems were originally intended to protect factories and larger buildings from fire damage, but in recent years, smaller versions have been developed for the residential side of the industry. They have now been recommended as part of the fire installation in all buildings and homes and especially in all new construction.

For more Call CJ Suppression today for a free estimate to have fire sprinklers installed by calling 888-821-2334. Visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

Accepting patients from Chino, Ontario, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Fontana and all surrounding areas.

Three Reasons That Commercial Properties Should Have Fire Sprinklers Systems | Corona, CA

Fire Sprinklers Systems

It should be common knowledge that every commercial property should have fire sprinkler system installed to prevent fire damage. However, many people don’t realize how truly important these type of fixtures are in the case of a fire does occur. As a matter of fact, there is plenty of evidence that fire sprinklers are more effective that many give them credit for. If you’re considering having a fire sprinkler system installed, you should know how this fixtures can benefit your building in case of fire.

Fire Sprinkler Systems Are Virtually Fault-Free. According to a recent study conducted on fires, researchers found that fire sprinklers operated during 91% of all reported fires big enough to activate the sprinkler system. In fact, 9 out of 10 times, the fire sprinklers systems worked flawlessly. The reason fire sprinklers typically stop working is due to lack of maintenance.

Fire Sprinkler Systems Can Cut Potential Losses in Half. We all should know that fire can result in devastating damage both structures of building and the people that may be trapped inside the building. In another recent study, researchers found that when paired with early warning systems, fire sprinklers not only reduce property damage, but reduces injuries and loss of life by over 50%. These are statistics that should not be ignored!

Fire Sprinkler Systems Help Save Lives. I would say one of the most important things that fire sprinklers do is help lower the risk of death and injury during fires. According to another recent study done by the National Fire Protection Association, there’s no record of more than two lives lost inside of a building that has full a fire sprinkler system installed that is well maintained and fully functioning.

As you can see from the facts stated above, having a full fire sprinkler system installed is a crucial part of fire protection. If you’re ready to have fire sprinklers installed, contact CJ Suppression Inc. at 888-821-2334 today, or visit www.cjsuppression.com for additional information regarding fire extinguisher services.

CJ Suppression Inc. proudly serves Corona, San Bernardino, Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Victorville, Irvine and all surrounding areas.

Get the Facts about Home Fire Sprinklers

home fire

Contrary to popular belief, we are not at high risk for fires in hotels or other public places. It’s at home, where we typically feel our safest; that is where we are at greater risk for a fire. In fact, hotels are among one of the safest from fires due to their fire protection technology that’s required. That fire protection technology includes fire sprinklers. As far as homes go, not many residents think twice about having fire sprinklers installed.

Home fires can cause property damage, and far worse, they can take the lives of our loved ones. Home fires pose a great threat to people all over every community. Nearly, 2,500 people lose their lives each year in home fires in the United States. It can be nerve wracking to think about these statistics, however, this should be a reason to consider installing fire sprinklers in your home. As a matter of fact, fire sprinklers cut the risk of losing a loved one in a fire by an astounding 80 percent.

Make no mistake, those smoke alarms you have can be great addition in preventing a fire, but smoke alarms do not suppress fires. Having smoke alarms, along with a sprinkler system, has been proven to protect lives and property. Speaking of property, fire sprinklers can also save your home. Fire sprinkler systems can reduce the property loss per home about 70 percent.  In addition, fire sprinklers also contain home fires while firefighters are in route and cause less water damaged than the fire hose used to suppress fires.

Due to the Hollywood moves we all watch, many people seem to think the entire sprinkler system activates when a fire occurs, which is false. When one fire sprinkler is triggered, the rest do not activate. Nearly 85 percent of the time, only one fire sprinkler activates during a fire, which as mentioned earlier, results in significantly less property damage when compared to a fire hose. And now that homes are burning more quickly than before due to having larger spaces and lightweight construction materials, having a fire suppression system is extremely important.

Having home fire sprinklers installed can give you added protection from fires and help put your mind at ease. If you’re interested in having fire sprinklers installed in your home, contact CJ Suppression Inc. at 888-821-2334 today. Or visit www.cjsuppression.com for additional information regarding our fire suppression systems.

CJ Suppression Inc. proudly serves Corona, San Bernardino, Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Victorville, Irvine and all surrounding areas.

6 Reasons You Should Install a Fire Sprinkler System in Your Home

fire sprinkler background.

For many years fire sprinkler systems have been extinguishing fires, preventing property damage and helping save several lives. Fire sprinkler systems can be a safety feature one can add to an office, factory, schools and other public places. They can also be an added safety feature in your very own home.

Did you know that small fire can start with just a little flame and fully submerge a room in less than three minutes? That’s an extremely short amount of time. Fire sprinklers reduce the risk of death by about 80% when having a fire sprinkler installed. The following are a few more reasons you should install a fire sprinkler system in your home:

The sprinkler heads activate individually. Fire sprinkler heads activate only over the area where the fire is. Unlike what you see in the movies, fire sprinklers do not all go off when a fire occurs in a home or office. Only the sprinkler heads closest to the fire will activate to spray water on the fire.

Fire sprinklers are activated by heat, not smoke. For instance, if smoke from a recently blown out candle or burnt food from an over or toaster will not trigger the fire sprinkler.

Many fire sprinklers activate within 30-60 seconds. This is much faster than it takes for firefighters to arrive to help put out a fire. Without the help of fire sprinklers, a fire can spread and grow while the firefighters are in route. The longer it takes to put out a fire, the higher the risks for residents and property damage.

Residential fire sprinklers are smaller than commercial sprinklers. They are able to be incorporated into the ceilings of many homes. Residential sprinkler fixtures are actually available in many types of finishes. Some sprinklers can be concealed by ceiling plates or pendants to make them more inconspicuous.

Fire sprinklers cause less water damage than a fire hose. Fire hoses discharge 80-125 gallons per minute, while fire sprinklers only discharge around 8-25 per minute.

Smoke alarms only alert residents but won’t extinguish a fire. Fire sprinkles can out a fire while the residents flee from their home. Extinguishing a fire in its early stages increases people’s safety and reduces the amount of property damage.

If you would like to learn more about residential fire sprinkler systems, contact CJ Suppression Inc. at 888-821-2334 or visit www.cjsuppression.com for additional information.

CJ Suppression Inc. proudly serves Corona, San Bernardino, Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Victorville, Irvine and all surrounding areas.