Tag Archives: Burbank Fire Deparntment

Burbank Firefighters Rescue Six Year-Old Trapped In Park Swing

Captain Mark Hatch keeps the young girl smiling and entertained while fellow Firefighters use tools to complete the rescue. ( © Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Firefighters came to the rescue after they were called to Mountain View Park located at 751 S. Griffith Park Drive in the Rancho District on Wednesday afternoon. to help a 6-year-old female who was reported stuck in the baby swing for close to 30 minutes.

Firefighters used several tools from their toolbox to free Natalie, a 6-year-old Burbank resident, who became stuck using a baby swing. Her parents attempted to help her out for close to 30 minutes before they called for help from Burbank Firefighters. 

Firefighters, under the Direction of Battalion Chief Danny Alvarez, were prepared with rotary saws, hacksaws, and other extraction equipment but found a pair of tin snip, along with the hacksaw, were the tools of choice.

( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Firefighters gave the girl a stuffed animal that they carry on the rescue ambulances to help during times like these and kept her smiling and laughing during the rescue.

It only took a couple of minutes for the Firefighters to free the girl and they were pleased to hand her to her parents following hugs.



Firefighters Knock Down Burbank Brush Fire

Two firefighters were injured battling a brush fire that blackened a Burbank hillside between the Castaway Restaurant and Country Club Drive in Burbank Wednesday afternoon

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

 After receiving a call from Burbank police of a brush fire that had started behind their firing range in Wildwood Canyon, firefighters were first dispatched at 3:51 pm.

While en route to the fire, Burbank Battalion Chief immediately asked for a third alarm brush assignment along with water dropping helicopters and camp crews to fight the fire before it got out of hand. Fire officials have not given a cause of the fire yet.

Burbank police went door to door along Country Club Drive, knocking on doors and asking residents to leave. There was no evacuation center for residents and they were allowed to return to their homes about an hour later.

Besides Burbank, engines from Glendale, Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, Los Angeles City and County  Angles National Forest Firefighters and other cities involved with the Verdugo system responded. Both L.A. County and L.A. City fire sent water dropping helicopters to fight the fire.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)


The first Los Angeles County Fire Helicopter on scene dropped off a crew of Firefighters on an adjoining hilltop and then dropped a load of water. 

The helicopters were being filled at the Starlight Mesa Helipad. Members of Los Angeles County Camp Crews were going to stay overnight hitting any hotspots.  



Police Negotiators Help Save Man Threatening to Jump at Caltrans Site

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

A Burbank Police Patrol unit on routine patrol near the Empire Center Monday afternoon noticed a male standing on a ledge about 25 feet high in the construction area where the new Empire under-crossing will be eventually be.

The patrol unit was not sure if the male, dressed in black, was marking graffiti or stuck or even looking to jump off the 18 inch ledge.

All vehicles on Victory Place were stopped in both directions in the area of the Empire Center, causing traffic to get backed while cars were detoured around the new interchange.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

It took over 24 Firefighters to get the huge rescue cushion into place while Burbank Police assisted and had two of their crises negotiators attempt to talk to the male down.

The Burbank Police Officers were successful in convincing the gentleman to walk back to where he walked on the ledge and they took him into protective custody. They determined the male Latino might have been suffering from  possible psychological issues and transported him to a local hospital for treatment.



Fire Damages House, Vehicle on Mariposa

Burbank firefighters were dispatched on a possible structure fire at 11:41 am on Thursday, April 27 at 810 N. Mariposa in Burbank. On route to the scene, firefighters could see smoke from the distance.

Once on scene, firemen went to work to knock down the flames while ventilating the roof area. After a quick search firefighters found no one inside but it was later determined that a couple of pets have not been accounted for.

During the battle, power lines were knocked down giving the firemen an additional hazard to work around. The fire was knocked down at 12:15 pm.

Firefighters on scene reported $50,000 damage to the contents of the structure and $175,000 in damage to the structure. Additionally there was $35,000 in damage done to a vehicle on the property next door.

The cause of the fire is still be investigated by Burbank Fire Investigators.    

Sulfuric Acid Leak at Burbank Water & Power Handled by Hazmat Units

Burbank fire was dispatched for a full Hazardous Materials Response at 320 N. Lake St. (Burbank Water and Power) at 12:18 am Sunday morning for a report of tank containing sulfuric acid leaking.

Once firefighters arrived on scene, they determined that 1,000 gallons of the liquid acid had already been released and the tank still contained another 4,000 gallons of actively leaking acid.

(Photo Courtesy Burbank Fire Dept.)

Hazmat units from Burbank, Glendale, Vernon worked the incident along with Burbank firefighters. An L.A. County Hazmat team also arrived to oversee the final clean-up by Burbank hazmat’s unit.

Several initial attempts were made to try to stop the leak and contain the spill; however, due to the location of the leak and failure of secondary containment, firefighters were unable to stop it. Due to the toxicity of the acid, keeping it out of the storm drain was a major concern for the fire department.

Effective countermeasures kept nearly all of the product from entering the storm drain, while keeping the spill contained to the property. Battalion Chief Danny Alvarez estimated that less than 10 gallons of liquid entered the storm drain, which was very fortunate considering the spill was over 4,000 gallons.

A sump truck was requested to remove the remaining liquid in the tank and pooled product throughout the property. Burbank’s Hazmat 12 and Battalion 1 remained on scene until the tank was determined to be empty and the situation became static.

No injuries were reported and the only evacuation was the lone employee working at the Water and Power Dept. who initially reported the leak.

Shots Fired Call is Instead a Small Residential Fire

A little after 5 am Saturday morning, the Burbank Police Department received a report of shots fired in the 300 block of E. Tujunga Ave.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Within minutes multiple units were on scene and observed smoke rising from a structure. The Burbank Fire Department was immediately notified and dispatched multiple engine and truck companies from around the city.

Burbank Police learned from neighbors and bystanders at the scene that a single male resides in the apartment from which the smoke was coming from. Police rushed to the apartment and made forced entry just as the first engine company arrived on scene.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Firefighters entered the unit and found a couch that was on fire. Burbank firefighters began their attack.

Within 10 minutes of the original call, the fire was out and the man that neighbors claimed lived alone in the apartment was rushed out and transported to the hospital.

Police on scene did not find any evidence of a shooting. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Fire Causes Severe Damage to Burbank Home on East Angeleno

Burbank fire units were called to a potential house fire at 1040 E. Angeleno Thursday morning at 9:40 am by a caller who could see smoke coming from the roof of a two-story house.

House fire on E. Angeleno (Photo Courtesy Burbank Fire Department)

House fire on E. Angeleno (Photo Courtesy Burbank Fire Department)

Upon arriving on scene, Burbank firefighters found smoke coming from the attic which soon became fully involved in the back of the residence on the second floor. Firefighters also saw a man on top of the roof trying to put out the fire and quickly escorted him off.

As the fire started to spread throughout the home, a second alarm was called at 9:59 am.

A partial roof collapse occurred to the rear of the house which firefighters anticipated and steered clear of the area.

A knockdown was called at 11:03 am with firefighters continuing to stay on scene for overhaul and make sure that any hot spots are fully extinguished.

A Burbank fire investigator is on scene and at this time the exact cause of the fire is not known but anyone who may have information is asked to call the Burbank Fire Department.

There were no injuries reported.


Firefighters Put Out Early Morning Bus Fire

Burbank fire responded a full assignment to a bus that had caught fire in an alley in the 300 block of East Angeleno Thursday morning at 12:05 am.

Upon arrival, firefighters reported that a bus in the rear alley was fully involved in fire and there was possible danger to businesses near it.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

To make matters worse, power lines directly over the bus fell, draping over the bus and giving firefighters a problem with putting out flames that were still burning inside the bus. With the power lines down, there was also a fear for not only firefighters, but also police officers working crowd control to try and avoid any running water on the ground for fear that the power lines could have put an electrical charge into the water.

Water and Power arrived at the scene around 1:30 am to assist at the scene and by 1:40 am had shut down any wires that remained hot.

Firemen laddered the nearby Salvation Army to check the roof to make sure that fire had not crept into the building.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

An arson investigator was dispatched to scene. A cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Damage was listed at $10,000 to the structure and $20,000 to the bus.

There were no injuries during this incident.

The bus was reportedly registered to the Grace Middle Eastern Church. No one was available from the church to confirm that they still owned the bus.

Bob Hope Airport Becomes Stage for Active Shooter Training

Multiple fire and police agencies worked together inside Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport terminal during an active shooter, mass casualty drill for three days this week, marking the first time such a training takes place.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Airport police and fire were joined by members of the Burbank Fire Dept., Burbank Police Dept., and emergency personnel from Glendale and Pasadena to simulate and prepare for a situation involving an armed suspect. A similar scene played out in real life at LAX in 2013 and resulted in the death of a TSA officer, and officials want to be prepared.

“The goal is to train in our own building, after hours, when no one is flying,” said Ed Skvarna, director of public safety at the airport and airport chief of police. “It gives [police and firefighters] the best real world scenario, they don’t have to pretend they are in the real world where something like this could happen.”

It helps officers prepare mentally, and working around the physical building and gaining knowledge of it is key, Skvarna said. Firefighters will have an active role in treating and rescuing people.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The goal is to be steps ahead, in case something happens, Skvarna said, adding: “We hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does happen, we are prepared.”

The “injured” will be comprised of volunteers who will be made to look like they have severed arteries or chest wounds. Some will be community college students, some will be reserve police officers and deputies, Skvarna said.

Because the scene will initially be a shooting scenario, police will be in charge, and once the shooter is neutralized, the command changes to fire, Skvarna said. Once the situation is resolved, cleanup is involved. The crime scene will need to be investigated, and then airport maintenance and operations would have to get the terminal ready to operate again as an airport.

(Photo by  © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Skvarna said airport police executed this same training last year and teams from the Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles police departments participated in some of the scenarios. But airport police realized they needed fire personnel, as well as the other agencies involved.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“We needed other mutual aid partners involved, that would be the most realistic way to handle this type of situation,” Skvarna said. “If it’s real, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Those people are going to show up, and they need to know what they are in for.”

Burbank Airport Police Officer John Dohle is one of two lead instructors for the training, along with Officer Rick Massa. Both men were formerly with the LAPD, and conducted trainings with the entire department on how to deal with an active shooter a number of times, Dohle said.

“It goes back to [the] Columbine [High School shooting] , although before and since then there have been active shooters,” Dohle said. “Since I work at the airport, I help train officers to be ready for an incident such as this.”

Dohle, too, mentioned the shooting at LAX.

“It can happen anywhere, in schools, now in theaters too. In workplaces,” he said.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

One of the unique aspects of the training is that it will provide an opportunity for participants to practice what is called tactical medical, which is first aid along with the ability to seal chest wounds and administer tourniquets, officials said. The practice saves limbs and keeps someone from bleeding out.

Dohle said the practice has been used in at least one other theater shooting and did help to save some lives there.

With an active shooter, “there is no single agency that will handle that alone,” said Battalion Chief Jeff Howe, who is in charge of training for Burbank Fire. “The manpower is intensive, and fast forward to this drill.”

Police have to get the bad guy, and firefighters go in with “force protection,” meaning they are surrounded by police so they can go in and take care of those who are hurt, Howe said.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Firefighters will be going in for a quick triage, and then calling for a second team, Howe said. Victims are then treated and sent to the hospital, which requires an extensive amount of personnel.

“We want to make sure we are comfortable working together,” Howe said. “It is the perfect opportunity to bring everybody together.”

Howe pointed to the unique opportunity to train inside the terminal, in real time. He also said Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena work together often, and said it was the first time the tri-cities would take part in an active shooter training of this type.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“It’s probably the first of many,” Howe said.

Through Mutual Aid, Burbank Never Stands Alone

Burbank residents may have noticed the presence of police officers from other cities at large events such as a car meetup that was taking place at the Empire Center, called Krispy Kreme Tuesdays.

In Alhambra, residents there may have noticed the presence of Burbank police during that city’s summer music festivals, events that call for the closing of major streets to accommodate attendees.

This sharing of resources is referred to as mutual aid, and fire and police departments from different cities count on each other for support for significant events, whether planned or not.

“If there is an operation that occurs in the county where we need resources, we can draw from each other,” said Burbank Police Lt. John Dilibert.

Officially called the Los Angeles County Law Enforcement Mutual Aid System, which Burbank is a part of, the agreement means that Burbank and others in the region respond when and where there is a need, Dilibert said.

Los Angeles County is broken down into groups and subgroups, and Burbank and other cities including Glendale, Pasadena and Alhambra, as well as Bob Hope Airport police, are part of what is called Area C, he said.

Dilibert, a 28-year veteran and watch commander in the patrol division, is the designated Area C coordinator, and has been working in mutual aid for 11 years.

“I manage all Area C operations, I’m the liaison to various cities,” Dilibert said, adding that he assists a captain with the Alhambra Police Dept. who is basically in charge of the group.

The Rose Bowl is one example of an event that calls for mutual aid, Dilibert said, and in Glendale, a Black Lives Matter rally called for additional resources to that city.

“When President Barack Obama comes through town for fundraising, and lands at Bob Hope Airport, and wants to go on The Ellen DeGeneres Show or when he was on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Burbank had to bring in resources to help the president get from Point A to Point B,” Dilibert said.

A watch commander from each department can activate mutual aid, but usually it is the liaison, Dilibert said.

He also discussed how he can go and assist the San Marino Police Dept., and step in, and become a San Marino cop. When Glendale needed help, he became a temporary watch commander at the Glendale Police Dept.

“We work together, it’s a good group,” Dilibert said, adding that law enforcement can really go anywhere in the state of California.

Burbank Police SWAT Officers use a fire hose in case they need to fight a fire in an area to dangerous for firefighters (Photo Courtesy Adam Cornils)

Burbank Police SWAT Officers train on how to use a fire hose in case they need to fight a fire in an area too dangerous for firefighters. Although not part of mutual aid, police and firefighters train together as they often both respond to emergencies. (Photo Courtesy Police Lt. Adam Cornils)

Dilibert said this also happens because of the demand the public puts on law enforcement “to get [life] back to normal as soon as possible. An earthquake or fire is coming in California. A freeway could collapse. We need to bring governing [back] to normal, we just might need extra people.”

Burbank Police Lt. Adam Cornils, a former spokesperson for the department and watch commander, said that in an area as dense as Los Angeles County, mutual aid is the recognition that a major critical incident, whether that is a crime scene or wildfire, will impact the entire region.

Burbank Firefighters train Burbank Police SWAT Officers share training time (Photo Courtesy Adam Cornils)

Burbank Firefighters and Burbank Police SWAT Officers share training time. (Photo Courtesy Police Lt. Adam Cornils)

“An individual city probably can’t put in the resources to handle that,” Cornils said, “and there’s a contract agreement among cities that they will send a certain percent of their resources to help partner cities.”

Prior to his promotion to lieutenant and watch commander, Cornils served as the department’s emergency operation coordinator, and worked with the Burbank Fire Dept., the city’s public works department, schools and the airport.

“I made sure we were ready to work with other agencies that were not in our usual field,” Cornils said. “Now, as a patrol watch commander, if something major kicks off, I can request [resources] and will manage the inflow of resources and make sure they are getting assigned appropriately.”

Burbank Firefighters train Burbank Police SWAT Officers on how to operate a ladder truck in case they need to fight a fire in an area to dangerous for firefighters (Photo Courtesy Adam Cornils)

Burbank Firefighters train Burbank Police SWAT Officers on how to operate a ladder truck in case they need to fight a fire in an area too dangerous for firefighters. (Photo Courtesy Police Lt. Adam Cornils)

Eric Baumgardner, the emergency management coordinator with Burbank fire and the city’s emergency manager, said fire departments have what is called Automatic Aid through the Verdugo Fire Communications Center (Verdugo System).

The Verdugo system is the dispatch center for the unified fire response of Alhambra, Arcadia, Burbank, Glendale, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena and Bob Hope Airport, Baumgardner said. Through an Automatic Aid agreement, these agencies run a borderless response system across the Verdugo System similar.

Throughout the state there is the California Master Mutual Aid Agreement; however that only applies during a Governor proclaimed State of Emergency or State of War Emergency, he said.

Burbank Fire units responding up north as part of a strike team made up of made up of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena units (Photo Courtesy of Batallion Chief Jeffrey Howe)

Burbank Fire units responding up north as part of a strike team made up of made up of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena units. (Photo Courtesy of Batallion Chief Jeffrey Howe)

As an example of mutual aid, Baumgardner mentioned Universal Studios, which contracts with the L.A. County Fire Dept. (LACoFD). L.A. County fire has an agreement with Burbank that if something happens, Burbank will assist them. Burbank, in turn, gets L.A.County resources for things like a brush fire, he said.

Baumgardner said Burbank fire crews worked up north for different fires, and that a couple of strike teams were gone for 14 days. He added that the strike teams were mixed, with personnel and resources from Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena.

Verdugo Strike Team (Strike Team 1203A) made up of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena units at the "Rocky Fire" in northern California (Photo Courtesy of Batallion Chief Jeffrey Howe)

Verdugo Strike Team (Strike Team 1203A) made up of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena units at the “Rocky Fire” in northern California. (Photo Courtesy of Batallion Chief Jeffrey Howe)

Burbank Fire Chief Tom Lenahan said fire departments are on “the tip of the spear” when it comes to the California mutual aid system, which started in the 1950s.

“When a major incident wildfire happens and resources are overtapped, someone will put out a request for help,” Lenahan said. “When the northern part of California starts to burn, we’ll take resources from the south. In the south, we are entering the Santa Ana Winds cycle, which runs from October to the end of the year, or to January or February. So, the north will send resources when we’re overtaxed. It’s a fantastic system…it’s neighbor helping neighbor, and improving the service we currently have.”