Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) units responded to a fire alarm on the 3400 block of Ransom Street at approximately 12:25PM on Monday.
While en route, the response was upgraded to a reported structure fire at the same location. Fire units arrived on scene four minutes after the call and reported heavy smoke and fire coming from a second story apartment of a three-story complex (garage over two story), according to the LBFD release.
Firefighters were able to confine the fire to four units, with three sustaining significant damage. The fire was extinguished at approximately 1:10PM. 47 firefighters were assigned to the incident, which was determined to be an accident due to a portable heating device.
One firefighter was transported to the hospital by LBFD paramedics with a minor knee injury and subsequently released. One resident complained of smoke inhalation, was evaluated by the paramedics and released on scene, according to LBFD spokesman Jake Heflin.
Multiple families have been displaced and are currently working with the unit owners to figure out what to do next.
“First and foremost we always want to encourage people to make sure that they are using a heating device that is approved for indoor use,” Heflin told the Post. “We’ve in the past had issues or instances where heating devices intended for outdoor use [were used indoors] and we’ve had people killed by the carbon monoxide created by those devices.”
Heflin said when utilizing an indoor portable heating device to make sure it’s placed in a safe area away from potentially flammable materials, such as clothing and decorations, and to certainly avoid placing it near a Christmas tree.
The American Red Cross Disaster Action Team responded to provide additional support to those displaced. A $100 Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) Card was issued to three displaced families, a state-wide victim assistance program supported by the LBFD in partnership with the California Fire Foundation.