Early Morning Fire Destroys 5-Story Structure in Pacific Palisades

By Sue Pascoe 

An Akron Street resident called 911 to report a fire on the hill above her house at 5:03 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17. A fire truck responded to the Akron address and the resident only had to point to the house above her that was totally engulfed in flames. The house was located at 842 N. Las Casas. Fire trucks then went to both locations—battling the blaze from below and from street level.

Eighty-nine fire fighters from 15 companies responded to the single-family residence blaze.

The noise of the fire awakened the homeowner, including the sounds of glass patio doors and windows exploding. The long-time resident narrowly made it out of the wood structure with Shake shingles in time. There were working smoke detectors in the home, according to the homeowner.

Because of LAFD’s quick response and aggressive firefighting, the two homes on either side were not damaged.

Firefighters caught a break because there was no wind and high humidity today, which stopped the fire from spreading to nearby trees. On the canyon side of the house, a small grass fire was ignited, but quickly put out. LAFD spokesperson Erik Scott had high praise for homeowners who had done brush clearance.

Arson personnel arrived at the scene and are investigating. Several neighbors were concerned that the cause of the fire might have been the same as the prior fire on Las Casas on April 13, which they said was caused when a house was stained.

Scott reiterated that the fire was still under investigation, but offered several fire-safety tips for residents:

  1. Make sure your smoke detectors are working;
  2. Do not overload circuits;
  3. Make sure your brush clearance is done;
  4. If you or someone is working on your house with oil paint or varnish or stains and use rags to clean up, do not leave the rags in a pile. Oil-based wet rags can combust on their own. As they dry the heat is trapped, causing them to ignite. Place those rags in a metal container with a tight lid or put them in water and detergent. 
Credit: Sue Pascoe
Credit: Sue Pascoe
Credit: Sue Pascoe
Credit: Sue Pascoe
Credit: Lesly Hall
Credit: Lesly Hall
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