Plumes of black smoke rose above Downtown LA on Nov. 20 as a commercial building at 1456 S. Long Beach Avenue caught fire. In the rubble of the scorched one-story structure, Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters found a man’s body.
Defensive firefighting operations began at roughly 2:30 a.m. after the blaze started to spread from a pallet yard on the property, the scene of a previous fire, onto the 100-by-100-foot structure. By 3:15 a.m., the incident had escalated to “Major Emergency” status and was formally known as the “Long Beach Fire.”
According to a report authored by LAFD spokesperson Brian Humphrey, 106 LAFD firefighters confined and extinguished the blaze in under 90 minutes. They also quelled flames that had extended to an adjacent pallet yard, preventing any damage to two nearby commercial structures.
During the operation, one firefighter sustained a non-life-threatening burn injury and has been taken to an area hospital. No other injuries were reported.
Around noon, while firefighters and investigators cooled large volumes of smoldering debris and searched for a cause of the fire, the remains of an adult male were discovered in the rubble. An LAFD Human Remains Detection Canine Team systematically searched the site and found no immediate indication that additional deceased persons were on the site.
The time, cause and manner of the man’s death, along with his positive identification, has yet to be determined by the coroner, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.