Two Dead, Two Others Severely Burned Following Canoga Park Industrial Fire

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Los Angeles Fire Department battled a Major Emergency Structure Fire in the west San Fernando Valley on Monday, October 18, 2021.

The fire at 8423 Canoga Avenue in Canoga Park, was first noted at 12:18 PM by an LAFD Paramedic Ambulance crew returning from a nearby emergency. Within moments of their reporting the fire, flames were through the roof of the 125' x 125' one-story industrial building that also housed an adjoining but unrelated business at 8425 Canoga Avenue.

As that first-arriving LAFD Paramedic crew circled the structure to gain situational awareness and guide fellow responders, they encountered the first of three adult male civilians with severe burn injuries outside the burning building. Two proved to be in critical condition and the other in serious condition. All three were taken to area hospitals. Sadly, one of the critically injured men died later while undergoing hospital care.

The rapid spread of intense flames and multiple explosions heard within the building guided first-arriving firefighters to quickly commence defensive operations, applying multiple large diameter hose streams from the exterior, including two from atop extended aerial ladders, to prevent flames from extending beyond the well involved structure.

With the exception of a forty square-foot section of the roof at 8427 Canoga Avenue destroyed by surface fire, the tactics proved successful in holding the  blaze to the pair of unrelated businesses under one roof at 8423 and 8425 Canoga Avenue. 

It took 150 Los Angeles Firefighter just 75 minutes to extinguish the flames.

Firefighters remained active through the night extinguishing hotspots and minimizing hazards at the structurally compromised building with the help of LAFD's robotic firefighting vehicle and heavy equipment.

At daylight Tuesday, LAFD crews resumed a systematic search within the largely destroyed premises. During their methodical search among tons of burnt debris inside the structure, firefighters discovered the remains of an adult male, bringing the overall patient count to four, with a total of two deceased and two remaining hospitalized.

No other injuries were reported.

Scientific testing of materials inside the building of fire origin yielded positive results for hemp, and it appears that the operation inside involved the extraction from hemp, not dissimilar to that used in the Butane Honey Oil extraction process.

Though the business was a legal enterprise, the operation inside appeared to be illegal, as it did not adhere to established permitting processes and safety requirements.

Pursuant to protocol, the fire's cause remains the focus of a joint active investigation by the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (L.A. Impact).

A positive identification of the dead men, as well as the cause, time and manner of their death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner

Dispatched LAFD Units: E104  RA72  RA896  E72  E296  T96  E305  T105  BC17  RA106  EM17  E106  RA96  E107  E103  E84  RA84  E273  T73  E293  T93  E290  T90  CM42  EM15  EM12  EM18  BC15  BC10  BC12  E88  UR88  T27  E227  UR27  HR3  BC5  T88  E288  RA105  AR1  CE83  HL7  RA73  RA93  E298  T98  E87  E105  T87  EA1  AR21  AR15  JT3  AR12  CM41  E93  SQ21  HE1  RS3  JT2  PI1  SQ87  T50  E250  UA1  RM3  RM2  E28  E83  T75  E275  LD1  LD2  E87  SQ87  E100  T78  E278  E8  E18  E18  HE1  LD1  LD2  E18  HE1  LD1  LD2  E106  E87  SQ87  E104  T96  E296  PI2  BC17  PI1  E73  E296  T96 

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