Hollywood Blaze Destroys Former Fire, Police Station
A building that once housed Hollywood’s fire and police station was destroyed by an early morning fire.
The two-story, 75 X 100-foot structure at 1625 North Cahuenga Boulevard, in the center of Hollywood, housed Small World Imports. The structure was abandoned by fire and police units in 1930 when Station 27 was built half a mile south on North Cahuenga.
At 3:35 a.m., last Dec. 17, Operations Control Division dispatched Task Force 27 (two engines and a truck) including Squad 27, Task Force 35 and Engine 82 under command of Battalion Chief L. D. Schneider.
Smoke fills boulevard
“When we opened the doors, smoke was rolling down Cahuenga,” the chief reported. “At Sunset Boulevard, we stopped because we could not see where the smoke was coming from. It filled the entire street.”
The units slowly proceeded one block north to Selma Avenue when they located the burning building. At 3:36 a.m., Schneider called for a second alarm, bringing Task Forces 29 and 61 and Engine 68 plus Division 1 Commander Edward Burns.
Photo by Mike Meadous
On arrival, Schneider ordered crews into the building, but quickly withdrew them as the fire broke through the roof. Then the southeast corner buckled.
Schneider and Burns turned their attention to protecting exposures—the back (west) and north sides were parking areas and presented no immediate danger.
Occupied exposure protected
However, the now very hot fire threatened a two-story building to the south. The second floor of this exposure contained occupied apartments and the first floor had various business occupancies. Burns ordered heavy streams deployed to set up a water curtain in the alley between the burning building and the exposure.
Wagon batteries were brought into action and Schneider immediately sent crews with hand lines into the exposed building and onto the roof. This aggressive action to protect the exposure was successful and there was no damage to the threatened building.
The fire was knocked down at 4:10 a.m. Other companies at the fire included Engines 6, 30 and 102 and Task Force 17, plus air and utility support.
Damage was estimated in excess of $500,000. The cause of the fire was undetermined.