Los Angeles Fire Department crews, summoned at 3:51 AM on May 19, 2020 to investigate an automatic fire alarm activation at a fabric warehouse at 1914 South Mateo Street, arrived quickly to find fire sprinkler activation and heavy smoke showing from a 200' x 200' one story commercial block building.
As additional units were requested to battle a working fire, first arriving firefighters forced entry to encounter thick smoke permeating dense storage of rolled textiles as much as 15 feet high throughout the structure.
As their colleagues made their way to the roof to perform strategic vertical ventilation, firefighters inside the building continued in their efforts, using handheld thermal imaging cameras, in an effort, hampered by extended fire sprinkler activation, to find the seat of the fire.
Climbing and crawling among the obstacles created by dense storage of flammable textiles, as well as a loading dock filling with water, firefighters were finally - after more than 90 minutes, able to access a mezzanine area deep within the structure to find and fully extinguish the fire.
No injuries were reported.
Fire loss to Lavitex, a textile wholesaler, is still being tabulated. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Dispatched LAFD Units: AR1 BC1 BC11 BC13 BC5 CM21 CM22 E10 E14 E17 E2 E20 E202 E203 E209 E21 E210 E211 E226 E235 E3 E9 EA1 EM11 PI2 RA17 RA3 RA803 RA810 RA900 RM2 T10 T11 T2 T26 T3 T35 T9 UR3 UR88