Tag Archives: Burbank Fire Department

Homeless Man Arrested For Burbank Blvd. Overpass Fire

Photo by Ross A. Benson

Not long after a brush fire spread along the embankment of the Burbank Boulevard Overpass yesterday evening, the Burbank Police Department arrested Edwin Matos, a 55-year-old homeless man, for allegedly starting the fire.

(Photo Courtesy Burbank Fire Department)

The fire prompted the closure of the Interstate 5 on-ramps and off-ramps, causing traffic backup which may foreshadow the gridlock in 2018 when the Burbank Blvd. bridge will be closed for construction.

During the fire, a traffic light was damaged and had to be repaired by the Public Works Department. Irrigation lines were also affected. Although the brush fire quickly spread from the south side where it originated to the north side, it was soon contained by the Burbank Fire Department. Since there are not any fire hydrants on the bridge, engines had to shuttle over 5,000 gallons of water.

(Photo Courtesy Burbank Fire Department)

The BPD was in search of a man fitting Matos’ description after receiving a report from a witness, saying the suspect ran northbound on the railroad tracks after causing the fire. When police spotted Matos and told him to stop, he ignored the officers’ orders and began to run. They eventually caught up with Matos who struggled with police, attempting to resist arrest.

While the arrest was taking place, the suspect’s dog, a Chihuahua mix named Rico, bit an officer on his arm and leg. However, the officer was not badly harmed. Matos’ dog is currently at the Burbank Animal Shelter in a 10-day quarantine for rabies monitoring, which might lead it to be euthanized.

Matos, who is said to be from Burbank, was found in possession of multiple lighters, matches, and a switchblade when he was taken into custody. It was also discovered that he had three outstanding arrest warrants for drug offenses and resisting arrest. Matos was booked into the Burbank City Jail for felony arson, resisting arrest, and possession of a knife.

Matos is currently being held at $141,000 bail and is due at the Burbank Court House on Friday.

(Photo Courtesy Burbank Fire Department)

(Photo Courtesy Burbank Fire Department)

Late Night Fire Sends Six Firefighters to the Hospital

On October 31, 2017, at 11:50 pm, a full structure response was dispatched to Empire Avenue for a reported smoke inside a structure.

Photo Courtesy Burbank Fire Department

Engine 13 arrived on scene and found that the smoke was coming from Victory Place business, Burbank Engine 14 responded to the corrected address, which was 1837 Empire, which is a Plating business. Once on scene, fire personnel discovered a vat inside the closed business was off-gassing a white smoke. All firefighters backed out and the assignment was upgraded to a hazardous material (HazMat) response.

The building’s representatives informed fire personnel that they had been cleaning a tank with chemicals during the day.  Six Burbank fire personnel were transported to a local hospital requiring medical evaluation those same firefighters were later released back to full duty.

HazMat 12 made entry to the business and shut off the power to the vat with Glendale HazMat 24 backing them up.

The Burbank Police Department provided traffic control and safety for personnel.

All units cleared the scene at approximately 3 am. During the incident, Glendale Fire units moved up and covered Burbank stations. 

The complete list of equipment that responded to the incident was Burbank Fire Department: Truck 11, Rescue Ambulance 11, Engine 12, Truck 12, Hazardous Materials 12, Engine 13, Rescue Ambulance 13, Engine 14, Engine 15, Engine 16, Battalion 1 and Training Chief; Glendale Fire Department.

Burbank Fire Chief Tom Lenahan to Retire

Burbank’s last three fire chiefs gathered for Chief Lenahan’s swearing-in. (L to R) Curtis Reynolds, Ray Krakowski, Lenahan,& Mike Davis (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Fire Chief Tom Lenahan has announced that he will retire from the City on December 28, 2017, and become Fire Chief of the Hollywood-Burbank Airport in January 2018.

Burbank Fire Chief Tom Lenahan (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Chief Lenahan has been a leader within the Burbank community,” stated City Manager Ron Davis. “He has been instrumental in achieving both a Class 1 rating for Burbank Fire Department along with becoming an internationally accredited agency, which means the Department is a highly elite team. For this and Chief Lenahan’s years of service, we are grateful.”

“I can not help but feel great about our community retaining his leadership through the appointment with the Hollywood Burbank Airport,” said Davis.

Lenahan began his career with the City of Burbank Fire Department as a Firefighter 30 years ago. He continued to rise through the ranks as Paramedic, Engineer, Captain, and Battalion Chief. He served as Assistant Fire Chief, in charge of the budget, personnel, and other administrative functions from January 2009 – June 2012.

Throughout his time with the BFD, Lenahan has seen several changes and improvement.

“We continue to have one of the most progressive and innovative Emergency Medical Services in California and we are always on the cutting edge of service delivery efficiencies,” said Lenahan. “Most recently we have become an Internationally accredited Fire Department from the Center of Public safety Excellence as well as an ISO Class I rated Fire Department. Not many fire departments in the US have both distinctions.”

Chief Lenahan had a brief tour of duty as the Fire Marshal beginning in July of 2012 before assuming the position of Fire Chief in January 2013.

He is also the Office of Emergency Services Region I, Area C Coordinator, which covers approximately 126 square miles of Los Angeles County and includes the cities of Alhambra, Arcadia, Burbank, Glendale, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena. This mobilization was recently seen in the La Tuna fire that threatened Burbank homes.

Prior to becoming a Burbank Firefighter Lenahan was a Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy for 5 years.

“Thank you to Burbank for allowing me to serve in such a noble profession,” Lenahan said. “In my new position with the Hollywood Burbank Airport I look forward to continuing the strong relationship with the City and Burbank Fire as we embark in the construction of a new terminal at the Airport.”

Lenahan took over the operations of the fire department in January of 2013 (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Glendale Police Arrest Burbank Arsonist

On July 5, 2017, the Glendale Police Department arrested 42 year old Antonio La Clay for a series of fires occurring in the City of Glendale and the City of Burbank.

Antonio La Clay

Glendale detectives began investigating the fires in the south portion of Glendale beginning in March 2017. The small fires were mostly confined to stand alone garbage containers, dumpsters, and debris. As the investigation continued, new fires were set in northwest Glendale. A total of 15 arson cases were identified from March through July. The most significant fire occurred in Glendale on June 13th in the 1500 block of Gardena Avenue. A garbage container was set fire in the alley, causing an estimated $40,000.00 in damages to a commercial building.

Detectives began working with the Burbank Police Department after they experienced the same type of arsons in their city with ten reported cases.

Glendale detectives located surveillance footage which captured a male suspect at several of the fire scenes. The Burbank Police Department also located surveillance footage involving the same suspect.

1500 Block of Gardena Avenue, Glendale

A crime bulletin was generated and surveillance photos of the suspect were shared with the Glendale Fire Department, Burbank Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.

On July 5, 2017, a Glendale Firefighter recognized the suspect at Pelanconi Park while on-duty. Glendale officers responded and identified the male as Antonio La Clay, a homeless male with a last known address in Burbank. Antonio La Clay was identified as the male captured on surveillance and subsequently arrested.

On July 7th, the Glendale and Burbank cases were presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and six felony counts of arson were filed. Antonio La Clay is being held on $100,000.00 bail in the Los Angeles Men’s County Jail.

Burbank Police Arrest Driver after Crashing into Dentist Office

The Burbank Police Helicopter was on routine patrol when the Tactical Flight Officer spotted a dark Saab at a extremely high rate of speed Westbound Olive Avenue around 7:50 PM Thursday evening, the next report from the helicopter crew was the car had gone out of control and crashed into a office building at Myers Street and Olive Avenue. 

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Burbank Fire Department sent a complete Rescue Response not knowing if anyone in the car or the building were trapped. Once on scene they found the driver has self extracted and was sitting on the curb talking to Burbank Police Officers.

The 26 year old driver Tyler Watcher of North Hollywood was  arrested by Burbank Police for reckless driving, he was treated at the scene by Burbank Paramedics and then taken to a local hospital for additional tests.

The building received extensive damage to it’s doorway and was RED TAGGED by Burbank Fire Department till Burbank Building Inspectors could check how damaged the structure was.

The drivers Saab was impounded for 30 days, and received massive damages.

Traffic Eastbound Olive was detoured for close to a hour while Officers and Firefighters worked in the lanes of traffic.  Another SUV was struck and received minor damage and it’s occupants were looked at by Paramedics and they refused treatment.

Editors Note: This story was updated with the suspects name Tyler Watcher and what he was booked for.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)



Eight New Fire Recruits Join the Burbank Fire Department

The Burbank Fire Department in joint operation with Glendale Fire Department held a recruit  graduation on Friday bringing on eight new firefighters and Glendale hiring thirteen.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The recruits spent the last twelve weeks training learning over 50 subjects that included topics such as: Hose lays, Ladders, Personal Protective Equipment, Truck Company Tools, Building Construction, Ventilation, Search and Rescue, Buddy Breathing, Fire Ground Survival, Wild-land Shelter/ Hand Tools, Progressive Hose Lays, Forcible Entry, Flash-over Training, Ropes & Knots, Airport Operations, Studio Familiarization, Hazmat First Responder Operations, EMS, Drivers Operator 1A, Master Steams, and several more.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The class was joint class with Glendale Fire Department, this being the 8th joint class. The firefighters trained together, as they will respond to call together as the two cities no longer have  territorial lines separating the two cities for emergency services.

The class received the oath of the departments, and we’re given their badges in a ceremony they all have been waiting  patiently for.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank Firefighters that now go on the line and are on one year probation are: Beau Estrada, Cody Letz,Garret Miller, Erik Rini, Kyle Sauer, Allen Scott, Jonathan Traber and Andrew Whitehead.

The class instructors were from Burbank Fire Caption Tray White, Captain Ryan Weber from the Glendale Fire Department Captain Todd Tucker, Captain Jim Vancil, Engineer Gave Vaca and Firefighter Gil Pedroza.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)


The class put on a demonstration following the indoor ceremonies of a couple of the visual examples of a car extraction, High rescue rescue, auto fires, repealing, and  yelling loud as emergencies scenes are very noisy.

Pedestrian Struck by Van Leaves One Dead and One Injured in Downtown Burbank

Burbank Police responded to the intersection of Olive and San Fernando Blvd during rush hour evening traffic Friday, to find a pedestrian trapped under a van on the sidewalk. Burbank Fire Department was called to assist.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Fire Department dispatched a full rescue assignment and upon Engine 11’s arrival they reported a single van on the curb into a bus bench with a driver trapped and a by-stander trapped under the van. Quickly the Battalion Chief on scene requested an additional Rescue Ambulance and the Truck 11 to start extraction of the driver. Once the the driver was removed from the car he was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. The by-stander who was removed from beneath the van was treated with life saving techniques and also transported. It was reported that he expired upon his arrival at a local hospital.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)


Burbank Police Spokesman Claudio Losacco gave a Press Conference to several media at the scene and reported the driver involved struck a car that was parked along the curb in the Eastbound lanes and then continued westbound in the Eastbound lanes striking a male in his Sixties on the southwest corner.

Burbank Police Traffic investigator was called to the scene along with several detectives.

Olive Avenue remained closed to Eastbound traffic for close to three hours while investigators marked the scene, took measurements and conducted interviews with witnesses.

The names of the driver nor the pedestrian were released at the time of the accident nor the cities they resided in.



Holiday In The Park Tonight will be Bigger & Better

Deagon & Magnolia No Parking (© Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Holiday in the Park is coming and it’s bigger and better than ever before!

This Friday, Magnolia Blvd will be closed down for 9 blocks from Hollywood Way to Florence Street and down the side streets to the allies.

The event which has been put on by the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, a non-profit run by Magnolia Park store owners, for the last few years is excited to have been able to close the street down and create a more enjoyable and safe event for the community.

President and Founder of the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, Ashley Erikson, gave us 10 reasons why this year is going to be better than ever!

1.      The street will be closed!  The community is free to roam the street as they please allowing dogs, children, strollers, and families to feel safe and have fun during the event.

2.  Food!  The association encourages you to dine at all of the Magnolia Park restaurants like Romancing the Bean, The New Deal, Portos Bakery, Monte Carlo Deli, Yummy Cupcakes, and MeneSweet, but if you can’t get a seat there, you can dine at your choice of 14 food trucks that will be placed down the side streets of the event.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson File Photo)

3. Snow!  The Brad Korb Real Estate Group is sponsoring the snow play area at Ume Credit Union with even more snow then ever before!

4. Kid Zone!  South Hills Burbank is sponsoring a whole block of family fun including bounce houses, a craft area, parent resting area, and bubbles!

5. Character Photo Ops!  Stop by the Blast in the Past parking lot for tons of character meet and greets including the Grinch, Rocketeer, Anna and Elsa! Ume Credit Union will have free photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus, Dark Delicacies will have Krampus and It’s a Wrap will have Frosty the Snowman.

6. Live Performances!  Every block will be filled with music or dancing.  Stores will have live musicians in front of their stores, while Worship Walk will be hosting dance performances by Garri Dance studio all night long!  The Bank of America lot will also have a stage sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank with performances all night from local musicians and a live band will be out front of the Magnolia Park United Methodist Church.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson File Photo)

7.  It’s all about the community!  In the middle of the street you’ll find Magnolia Park merchant tables, non profit organizations and City of Burbank organizations.  Hop from table to table to learn more about the Burbank Recycling Center, the Burbank Public Library, local schools, the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter, and more!

8.  Car Show! The entire block between California and Fairview will host a unique car show.

9. FREE Magnolia Park Bags!  Some volunteers will be walking around passing out Magnolia Park reusable tote bags sponsored by local Magnolia Park stores.

10.  Burbank Police, Fire and SWAT will be on the block between Cordova and Avon with their vehicles on display for kids to take pictures with.  Stop by and say hello and give a thank you to all the men and women who keep Burbank safe.

For more information visit www.holidayintheparkburbank.com

Burbank House Fire Guts Residence and Snarled Evening Traffic

Burbank Firefighters received many calls of a reported house fire at 3615 W Victory Blvd at 4:51 pm Thursday afternoon.

First arriving Firefighters reported a single family dwelling with heavy fire showing from the rear of the house. Firefighters took an aggressive attack sending Firefighters to the roof to ventilate while other Firefighters made a search for any occupants inside. The smoke was thick and rising quickly and could be seen across the city.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Police were called to assist with traffic control while Burbank Water & Power were called to assist with reported downed power line to the rear of the house.

The Burbank Firefighters with the assistance of one Glendale Engine Company got control of the fire within a couple of minutes.

Victory Blvd. was closed in both directions for several hours while Firefighters overhauled the the burned building.

The cause is under investigation by Burbank Fire Investigators, and damage was reported as $50,000 to the contents and $250.00 to the structure and there were no injuries to civilians nor Firefighters.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)


Burbank Fire Department Handles Two Laundry Room Fires Hours Apart.

The Burbank Fire Department responded to the 4511 West Clark Street at 4:16 AM to a reported house fire. First arriving units reported smoke showing from the rear of the single family residence.

BFD House Fire 4511 Clark St.   (© Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank Firefighters made a quick attack on fire that started in a rear laundry room, and was contained to the room of origin.

Burbank Fire sent 4 Engine companies, 2 Truck companies, 2 Rescue Ambulance and the 27 members were under the direction of Battalion Chief Eric Garcia.

BFD House Fire 4511 Clark St.   (© Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The cause of the early morning fire is still under investigation, and the damage estimate is still being tabulated.

Firefighters were kept busy with another fire reported at 8:30 at 414 E. Valencia Avenue. In this fire a washing machine caught fire burning a laundry room and the contents of the machine.

This fire was extinguished quickly by Firefighters on 3 Engines 2 trucks and a Rescue Ambulance and those personnel were under the direction of Battalion Chief Danny Alvarez

This fire was caused by a faulty appliance and damage was reported as $2900.00 to the contents and $50,000 to the building. No Firefighter nor civilians were injured in ether fire incident.

Burbank Firefighters suggest residents maintain a clean lint vent area including in and around machines.