Thanksgiving Day fire in Long Beach kills dog, injures firefighter

Jake Heflin, public information officer for the Long Beach Fire Department, walks through a heavily damaged apartment after an early-morning fire Thursday.
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

An early-morning fire in a Long Beach condominium complex killed a dog and left several people displaced on Thanksgiving Day.

The three-alarm fire began around 3:30 a.m. in the 5400 block of Centralia Street, said Jake Heflin, a spokesman for the Long Beach Fire Department. At least two units were completely destroyed by the blaze, and several sustained significant water and smoke damage, Heflin said.

“It’s never an easy thing to go through, but it magnifies the emotions since it’s Thanksgiving,” Heflin said. “It’s not something you want to be thinking about going into the holiday season.”

The fire is believed to have begun in a second-story unit and to have spread to the third floor, Heflin said. The occupant was at work at the time, and his dog was killed in the blaze, Heflin said.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


One firefighter sustained minor injuries to his chin, Heflin said. None of the complex’s occupants were injured.

The Long Beach Fire Department gave $100 Mastercard gift cards to several families whose homes were at least 25% damaged, Heflin said. The gift cards are part of a new statewide program called Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE), funded by the nonprofit California Fire Foundation.

The gift cards, which are carried by battalion chiefs, are meant to help victims of disasters get a place to stay for the night or a warm meal, Heflin said.

“It allows the Fire Department to put an arm around them and say, ‘Here’s a small something to help you immediately,’” Heflin said. 


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