Tag Archives: Burbank Fire Deparntment

Burbank Honors Public Servants in Community Service Awards

Boy Scout Troop 210 of Burbank. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

On Wednesday, August 30th, Burbank honored our own hometown heroes with a Community Service Awards ceremony at the Elks Lodge. The awards event was two years in the making, and honorees were made up of the 2015 and 2016 years. The event was organized by the  Burbank’s Elks Lodge 1497, and with little help from Burbank’s very own Boy Scouts Troop 201.

The awards proved to be a good reminder Burbank’s city leaders are some of the best in the country. That same reminder is more important now after the La Tuna fire, which you can read more about here. Now, without further ado, let’s go over the list of award recipients!

 Teachers of the Year

Center Jan Hacker. ( Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

For the 2015 year, Sara Line was given the Teach of the Year award for an outstanding job in promoting achievement and success to our young students here in Burbank.

As for the 2016 year, Jan Hacker of John Burroughs High School was awarded Teacher of the Year. As for what this award means to her, Hacker had this to say:

It’s really been an honor to be included with the other individuals that were here tonight, mostly because it’s very representative of the kind of town Burbank is all about. The people that I’ve met here tonight are all parents, students, and grandparents. That’s what it’s all about: Everybody being a part of the same thing. Tonight really made me feel like that. With officers, firefighters, city workers – to be included in that crowd, and to be representative of what Burbank is all about, it’s a huge honor for me.

Police Officers of the Year

Officers of the year were awarded to incredible public servants who have gone above and beyond to ensure they’re the best they can be for the city of Burbank. The following officers were awarded for the 2016 year:

Officer Cindy Guillen

Sergeant Joshua Kendrick 

Sergeant Adam Baumgarten

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Sergeant Mark Stohl


After the awards ceremony, I was able to catch up with Officer Cindy Guillen to ask her what this award meant to her:

This award is very special to me. One, because there was a lot of hard work that we put in. My partner and I were one unit, working together and working for the community. We did everything we possibly could to not only make the community better, but to mend the gap between the police department and the community. The work we did is appreciated through this award and we’re very grateful to be honored.

City Employees of the Year

For the 2015 year, Bradley (Brad) Recker was awarded for his unrelenting passion to make Burbank better.

For the 2016 year, Bill Parrish was awarded for his outstanding service to the community.

Firefighters of the Year

Captain Daryl Isozaki. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Firefighters of the year are chosen by other firefighters. By voting for an individual, firefighters are essentially choosing the best representation of the entire department.

Captain Daryl Isozaki was awarded Firefighter of the Year for 2015. Isozaki has been a part of the the Burbank Fire Department for 31 years. After the ceremony, I caught up with Captain Isozaki to get his take on his award:

It’s a privilege. I’m on the tail end of my career right now, and I’m going to retire this year. I’ve seen a lot of things change over the years and the one thing that doesn’t change for the Fire Department is their quality and talented people that we have. It’s a privilege for me to be able to mentor some of our young firefighters and help them out in their career. This is a good expression of the department expressing years of service and some of the contributions we’ve made.

As for the first thing he’s going to do after retiring, Captain Isozaki simply plans on going fishing.

Engineer Andrew Chest. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Engineer Andrew Chest was awarded Firefighter of the Year for 2016. On the award, Chest had this to say:

It’s an appreciation of the hard work, it’s an appreciation of the department for me, and I hold it with high regards. It is indeed an honor to be here tonight. It’s pretty prideful to receive this award. It’s who your peers think who deserves the award, that’s what’s honorable about this.

If you’d like to see more of the ceremony, take a look at the pictures below!

Burbank Gets Through Worst Brush Fire in Over 30 Years

Burbank’s hillsides had not had a serious brush fire in decades until this past weekend when one started near the 210 Freeway quickly escalated.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

City fire engines were first dispatched to the original fire but after a while when it became apparent that the fire may crest the hills and come toward Burbank, they returned to protect their home town.

While the first started at about 1:30 p.m. Friday, it was not until 4:51 in the afternoon that it started to be of enough of a concern that the first brush assignment was dispatched in Burbank.

Units positioned themselves up near Brace Park and Country Club Drive and started the long wait for the fire to crest the hills and start down toward Burbank homes.

Once the fire’s path was imminent, Burbank fire officials gave mandatory orders to everyone basically above Brace Canyon Park all the way over to the Cabrini Villas. The area included all of the private housing off of Castleman Lane.

Burbank police officers began the task of going door to door to advise residents of the mandatory evacuation. They recorded all addresses checked and advised residents. They kept track of each decision because they could not physically force a resident to evacuate. The City of Burbank and the Red Cross set up an evacuation center at McCambridge Recreation Center. About 10 residents were there around midnight.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

During the night, the first concern was the Stough Canyon Nature Center. Firefighters worked hard to protect the structure from the fire. It is unknown how much damage has been done to the trails near there.

As soon as the battle was engaged, the fight to save homes on the hill began. Engines and firefighters from all around Southern California were part of the unified command that was run in the Burbank area by the Burbank Fire Command Staff.

Los Angeles City Helicopters, who only fly at night in extreme emergencies, made water drops all night as the main focus of the fire turned to Burbank. Listening to the pilots on their radio, there was a calm, but confident demeanor as they systematically hit hot spot after hot spot.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

As dawn broke, the houses on the hill were still safe. Firefighters continued to man the streets around the hillside. Firefighters made a series of drops of Phos-Chek fire retardant from Brace Canyon all the way to La Tuna Canyon which helped stop the spread of fire.

Some firefighters were replaced by others after working as many as 36 hours straight in heat over 100 degrees.  Many residents brought water, Gatorade and even ordered up pizzas for firefighters and brought them to the city’s main fire station on Orange Grove.  In fact, there were so many donations from grateful residents that the fire department put up a sign saying that no more donations would be needed.

Officials from the Los Angeles Fire Department have estimate the acres burned at about 5,800 as of 10 p.m. Saturday and as little as of 10 percent of the fire area has been contained.

As of 10 p.m. Saturday evening, fire officials lifted the mandatory curfew and let only residents and members of the media into the fire zone.  Those returning had to show proof of residency.

Fire engines will be standing by in the area for the next couple of days to protect against flare-ups.

Photographers – Professional and Amateur – Cover La Tuna Fire

First, from our Chief Photographer Ross A. Benson:


and from another of our photographers, Edward Tovmassian:

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian


@myBurbankNEWS, view from my living room not that long ago. So much respect for the firefighters protecting us, especially in this heat🙏🏼

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JackieHReid's avatar

@myBurbankNEWS view from balcony on Grismer Ave. Burbank


Hey @myBurbankNEWS here’s a pic of the fire on two fronts as seen by Memorial Field

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Stopped for ice cream and could see the flames from the #BurbankFire 5 miles away. Yipes. @myBurbankNEWS

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Photo my husband took on the way home from work today @myBurbankNEWS#fire#burbank@BurbankFireCorp

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Update from Burbank side, which actually covers so much more of the ridge than this pic shows😭

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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.