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Los Angeles firefighters tackle water-based paint blaze


At 10:17 p.m. (PST), fifteen Companies of Los Angeles firefighters, six LAFD rescue ambulances, one arson unit, one urban search and rescue unit, one hazardous materials squad, one foam tender, one EMS battalion captain, four battalion chief officer command teams and one division chief officer command team, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Roy Kozaki responded to a greater alarm fire involving outside chemical storage at 5508 South Bandera St. in South Los Angeles.

Firefighters arrived quickly to face heavy fire from scores of 55-gallon drums stacked three-high and believed to contain flammable water-based paint.

Using handlines in a well-coordinated fashion, firefighters swiftly tackled the blaze, which had destroyed much of a combustible awning-type structure designed to protect the hundreds of drums from the elements. The flames also consumed the southern half of a fire-sprinklered 30-by-100 foot warehouse.

Thanks to the brisk and effective teamwork of 107 Los Angeles firefighters, the fire was confined to the warehouse and stored liquids and fully extinguished in just 32 minutes.

There were no injuries.

Efforts were made by firefighters to limit and monitor foul-water runoff. With the possibility that some product may have been carried in the effluent during the firefight, the County Fire Department's Health Haz-Mat Division was also summoned to the scene.

Fire loss to "Bandera Paint Manufacturing Company" is still being tabulated, while the cause of the fire remains under active investigation.

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