VAN NUYS – Scores of firefighters battled a major emergency blaze in a large Van Nuys commercial building early Thursday morning.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was notified at 12:11 AM on September 10, 2015 by the 9-1-1 call of a passerby, of a structure fire at 14937 Calvert Street in Van Nuys. LAFD crews arrived quickly to find fire through the roof of a mid-block 240′ x 180′ one-story commercial building, built in zero-clearance configuration among similar concrete-tilt up structures to the east and west.
Firefighters mounted a bold attack on entrenched flames within reThink Environmental, a producer of lighting, energy and surfacing products, for nearly 20 minutes, before structural compromise forced their well-coordinated transition to a defensive posture with heavy streams.
Though a division wall helped limit fire spread to the east, the common attic and partial collapse of the burning building allowed flames to quickly spread west into KCK Industries, a provider of health care and hygiene products, where the westward progression of flames was ultimately stopped.
One hundred sixty-one firefighters under the command of Assistant Chief Emile Mack held the bulk of fire damage to the two businesses, extinguishing the flames in just 2 hours and 4 minutes.
One Fire Captain was briefly examined for exertion before being medically cleared to return to duty. No other injuries were reported.
An Inspector from the City’s Department of Building & Safety was called to examine the building and determine its tenability following the severe fire damage. Monetary loss from the inferno is still being tabulated, while the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.