More than 150 firefighters assisted by a water-dropping helicopters battled a blaze early this evening that severely damaged the Echo Park hilltop home of a former film and TV actress and sent a thick column of smoke across the sky. The fire ignited live ammunition inside the house in the 1400 block of Elysian Park Drive near Douglas Street and threatened to spread to nearby brush, according to fire department officials. But the blaze that began at about 6 p.m. was extinguished before it spread to other homes and apartment buildings only a few feet away. No injuries were reported.
Estefan Bravo, 48, said the two-story home is owned by his mother, Ann Robinson, who co-starred in the science fiction classic War of the Worlds. He said his mother was not injured.
A neighbor, Lou Becker, said the fire appeared to start in the rear yard of the house. He said one man was attempting to put out the fire with an extinguisher before the blaze got out of hand. “It just got too big, too fast,” he said.
LAFD Battalion Chief Fred Mathis said investigators are trying to determine what caused the blaze, which caused extensive damage to the home. Mathis, on the LAFD blog, said the location of the home on a narrow street made it difficult to reach the blaze:
“There was one way in and out. After the first apparatus arrived, all those following had to stack one behind the other downhill. This required some firefighters to carry gear up a 1/4 mile, then back again to exchange air bottles. It was a tough location. They did a great job!”
Click on the link below to see more fire photos.
Photo by Gregory C.
Water-dropping helicopter was called in to assist firefighters on the ground. Photo by Brett Service
Smoke poured north over Elysian Park. Photo by Brett Service
Fire trucks filled narrow Elysian Park Drive and Douglas Street. Photo by Barry O”Donnell
A string of fire trucks and hoses ran down Douglas Street. Photo by Scott Fajack
Firefighters walk past flag that hung from carport in front of the damaged home. Photo by Scott Fajack.
* This story has been updated from earlier versions.