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Fire Breaks Out in Santa Monica Highrise
By Jorge Casuso
April 25, 2019 -- Fire irrupted on the roof of a 15-story apartment building on Ocean Avenue Wednesday night forcing the evacuation of tenants while firefighters fought the blaze, Fire Department officials said.
Some three dozen firefighters responded to multiple calls around 8:19 p.m. reporting the fire at "“Pacific Plaza,” 1431 Ocean Avenue, among Santa Monica's ten tallest buildings, officlas said.
Firefighters arrived on scene in 3 minutes to find a large volume of fire visible on the roof of the building across from Palisades Park, said Capt. Patrick Nulty, the Fire Department spokesman.
"Firefighters were required to ascend up the stairwells to access the fire, carrying tools and special hose packs which were used in the fire fight," Nulty said.
Fire Engines pumped water into the building's “Stand Pipe” system, which allows firefighters to connect their hoses to the upper floors, a system required in all high-rise structures, Nulty said.
All 35 on duty firefighters responded to the fire, which took 28 minutes to contain, he said.
The fire burned approximately 50 percent of the roof, where it was confined, Nulty said.
Three of units beneath the fire sustained water damage, he said.
"The building was occupied at the time the fire broke out, however a functioning fire alarm system began alerting residents to evacuate prior to the firefighters arrival," Nulty said.
There were no reported injuries to civilians or first responders, he said.
The 288-unit rent-controlled building is owned by Douglas Emmett, Santa Monica's largest property holder, which purchased the building in 1997.
Pacific Plaza, the eighth tallest building in the city, has studios and one-bedroom units ranging from 435 to 715 square feet.
The maximum allowable rents (MAR) range from $742 for the least expensive studio to $3,885 for he most expensive one bedroom, according to the Rent Control Board.
A 435-square-foot studio currently rents for between $2,495 and $2,795, according to real estate listings.
Fire Investigators are working on determining what may have caused the fire, Nulty said.
Assistance was provided by Santa Monica Police, and the Los Angeles Fire Department covered multiple 9-1-1 responses in Santa Monica during this incident, he said.
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