On Saturday, December 23, 2006 at 8:07 PM, twelve Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, one Emergency Air Unit, one Hazardous Materials Squad, two EMS Battalion Captains, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and one Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 85 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, who were joined in automatic aid by more than a dozen members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, all under the direction of LAFD Assistant Chief Roderick Garcia, responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire with Civilian Fatality at 1319 North Martel Avenue in the City of Los Angeles near West Hollywood.
Firefighters arrived quickly to reports of a structure fire with a person trapped to discover flames extending from the front portion of a subdivided single family home threatening a three-story apartment building to the south.
According to witnesses, an 18 year-old male had been seated in the living room of the one-story duplex, when he
noticed a nearby artificial Christmas Tree catch fire.At first attempting to unplug the tree, he
was driven back by intense heat and flames, and subsequently proved unable to find or muster a fire extinguisher within the home. His
61 year-old father departed his
spouse in a rear bedroom in an attempt to assist his
son, before both men were pushed from the house by searing heat and ink-dark smoke that rose from floor-to-ceiling, making their rescue of the man's 56 year-old wife impossible.