Google Maps screenshot of 4600 Banner Drive.
A structure fire at an apartment complex in Bixby Knolls, caused by fumigation that came into contact with a pilot light, devastated one apartment unit this afternoon, displacing a resident, a man in his late 50s.
According to Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) spokesman Jake Heflin, LBFD officials arrived at a two-story apartment complex fire with light smoke showing at 12:01PM.
Once there, they forcibly entered the complex and confined the fire to the kitchen, knocking the fire out by 12:06PM. It was categorized as a “room and contents fire,” involving the kitchen cabinets and other items in the room.
No one was injured, and no victims were found inside the apartment.
Tweets by the Long Beach Firefighters Association around that time deemed the fire knocked out and the primary search for the victim as being clear.
Units on scene of an apartment fire in the 4600 block of Banner Drive in California Heights portion of North Long Beach— Long Beach Fire (@lbfirefighters) January 12, 2016
Banner IC is advising they have knockdown and the primary search for victims is clear— Long Beach Fire (@lbfirefighters) January 12, 2016
The cause of the fire was identified as a “bug bomb”—a store-bought fumigator that was determined not to mix well with homes heated by pilot lights (a version the resident had purchased on accident.) According to Jake, the fumigator came into contact with emissions from the pilot light, prompting a flash fire.
The fire resulted in smoke and water damage to the living room, as well as damage to the wall of the apartment shared by the resident’s neighbors.
The resident declined assistance from the Red Cross, but was issued a $100 SAVE card (Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency), in partnership with the California Fire Foundation. According to Heflin, victims are eligible for a SAVE card if they “suffer a catastrophic loss of 25 percent or more” of their property.