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Firefighters keep blaze at complex in check

Officials feared it might spread to other apartments

Posted: August 21, 2008 7:36 p.m.
Updated: October 23, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Firefighters from Battalion 6 inspect and clean up after a fire gutted the manager's apartment in Canyon Country.

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Local firefighters quickly knocked down a fire in the kitchen of a Canyon Country apartment Thursday afternoon.

The fire broke out around 12:55 p.m. at 17706 Sherzinger Lane at the Mountainview Apartments in unit 21, said Chief Jim Kross of Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion 6.

The unit reportedly belongs to the apartment complex manager, who was not home at the time of the incident.

The fire started in the kitchen of the apartment and fire and smoke damage was contained to that apartment, Kross said.

Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Hawkins was the first to arrive at the scene.

“When we got here there was thick smoke and it kept getting thicker,” he said. Neighbors told Hawkins that the resident was not inside, but that the manager’s daughter and granddaughter are often in the apartment during the day.

While firefighters were still en route, Hawkins kicked in the front door and the smoke continued to get thicker, and he said he could hear the fire crackling. The smoke was too thick for him to enter, he said. 

The fire was knocked down by 1:12 p.m., Kross said. The apartment was searched and there were no injuries.
Four fire trucks and a battalion chief responded to the kitchen fire.

“Apartment fires can spread quickly,” Kross said. The heavy response is normal for this type of fire, he added.
If the apartment fire ignites an accelerant or gets into a fuel source, it can spread and take down the entire complex, Hawkins said.

Emergency personnel were still trying to contact the resident Thursday afternoon.

The fire’s cause is under investigation.


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