Massive Fire Destroys Warehouse in El Sereno

Risk Logic Inc. (RLI) is a consulting engineering company that provides Loss Prevention Services. Since 1997, we have been working in regions all over the world utilizing the most advanced and current standards.

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September 30th, 2021

A massive fire broke out in a warehouse building in El Sereno, Los Angeles around 5PM on the 30th of September 2021. The fire started within the building, before collapsing the roof. The 31,000 ft2 building was formerly used as a roller derby auditorium but is currently reportedly used to store materials for event design and furniture. 84 firefighters were assigned to the fire with the LA City and LA County departments joining forces.

The fire was extinguished within two hours with the building being completely destroyed. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries, but other than that, no other injuries were reported. The exact storage composition within the warehouse is not known. No damage estimates are available. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

In December 2016, while this was still used as a roller derby rink, a fire inspector found 10 hazards and issued the property owner a notice to correct the violations. Violations included wiring issues, servicing fire extinguishers and not hanging anything on sprinkler piping. Since then, this building has been used as storage area. It is not known if the violations were corrected.

Adequate provision of storage sprinklers are critical in controlling a fire. The sprinkler system should be designed based upon the classification of the specific commodity being stored with consideration of factors including building heights and ceiling pitches as per relevant codes and standards such as NFPA and FM Global. On top of this, proper storage practices are important to reduce the risk and the extent of damage by a fire. These include removing unnecessary combustible material such as idle pallets, keeping aisles and flue spaces clear, limiting storage heights and so on.

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