Hollywood Hills home demolished by fire

Full story: LA Daily News

A fire engulfed a four-story, multi-million-dollar house in the Hollywood Hills Wednesday morning, causing what the owner described as at least $13 million in damage, but no one was hurt.
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1 - 20 of 28 Comments Last updated Oct 6, 2009
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hank

Los Angeles, CA

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#1
Sep 16, 2009
 
thank god he is alright
Wilson

Buena Park, CA

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#2
Sep 16, 2009
 
We should start a fundraiser for this homeowner. He needs our help rebuilding his multi-million dollar house.
L A Res

Los Angeles, CA

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#3
Sep 16, 2009
 
This area of the hills is directly north of West Hollywood, which is vastly overdeveloped and gridlocked most of the day and night - even this early in the morning rush hour has started.

The hills all the way between Beverly Hills east to La Brea are accessed by Sunset Blvd. which falls into the West Hollywood city limits, and West Hollywood is planning even more huge structures and office/ retail/ condo complexes on the strip which will make L A hillside residents' accessibility to fire and police emergency vehicles even harder.

The LAFD Fire Capt. told reporters that 8-10 minutes is the usual min. response time, this wasn't due to roll-backs. It will get much WORSE as West Hollywood keeps developing. THis is what the West L A NIMBY's should have been fighting, as have Beverly Hills homeowner associations.

Now, West Hollywood and Santa Monica are getting high-revenue developments that they use for social services to residents, while L A thanks to the NIMBY's that have short-sightedly battled every development AND traffic solution, gets the traffic, congestion, anyway. These West L A NIMBY's have actually sided with West Hollywood and Santa Monica vs. the Mayor and Jack WEiss just out of spite. Now Paul Koretz formerly of West Hollywood, is stuck with the juggling act.

But as WLA battles revenue-generating development and fixes, West Hollywood marches on developing, totally unconcerned with hazards to LA residents.
Figaro

Sacramento, CA

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#4
Sep 16, 2009
 
Hmm ... if he had so many "magnificient" things in the multi-million dollar house, maybe the cheapeskate should have invested in a fire suppression system instead of relying on the fire dept. I say we have a bake sale for him.
Redacted

Buena Park, CA

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#5
Sep 16, 2009
 
Figaro wrote:
Hmm ... if he had so many "magnificient" things in the multi-million dollar house, maybe the cheapeskate should have invested in a fire suppression system instead of relying on the fire dept. I say we have a bake sale for him.
LoL... Great post!
robert

United States

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#6
Sep 16, 2009
 
I feel very very sorry for the tropical fish that were killed in the fire. I'm very happy that a lawyers house was destroyed in the fire.
Toluca Lake Observer

Los Angeles, CA

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#7
Sep 16, 2009
 
Anyone who watched the fire on television knows that City Fire is more than a bit off base on the timing of this one. It was a heck of a lot longer than City Fire claims. And the apologies from City Fire Division 3 on behalf of the County are disingenuous. One more thing. Is there no plan to super dispatch more agile engines than trying to bring (hook and ladder) trucks around the tight curves? Considering Witzer's profession, I have a hunch we have not heard the last of this.
Dan Woska

Edmond, OK

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#8
Sep 16, 2009
 
People today are so calloused and so angry about their lives that they even make fun of someone who lost his home to a fire. I guess we should just make fun of everyone afflicted with illness, homeless, who have lost jobs, whatever.

Brian Witzer is a good man who works tirelessly on a contingency basis for people who cannot afford to pay $1,000 an hour for the attorneys who represent the rich and powerful.

Denegrating anyone who has lost a home to fire is a view of the internal character of the one who scoffs.
LtFD Seattle

Lynnwood, WA

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#9
Sep 16, 2009
 
Toluca Lake Observer wrote:
Anyone who watched the fire on television knows that City Fire is more than a bit off base on the timing of this one. It was a heck of a lot longer than City Fire claims. And the apologies from City Fire Division 3 on behalf of the County are disingenuous. One more thing. Is there no plan to super dispatch more agile engines than trying to bring (hook and ladder) trucks around the tight curves? Considering Witzer's profession, I have a hunch we have not heard the last of this.


Watching the KTLA helicopter video, the anchor states "It is 6:39...." Three minutes later, the first Engine and Rescue Ambulance arrive. If the news reports are accurate, and the fire was reported to 911 dispatchers at 6:32, then there was one minute for call answering/processing, one minute for the fire fighters to turn out (respond) out of the station, and eight minutes to reach the scene. Sounds/looks pretty normal, based upon the location of the fire.

As far as the type of apparatus that the LAFD, and LA County utilize, maybe you should visit your local station and ask/learn. Then you wouldn't be perplexed by a standard residential structure fire response.
LA FF

Placentia, CA

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#10
Sep 16, 2009
 
Toluca Lake Observer wrote:
Anyone who watched the fire on television knows that City Fire is more than a bit off base on the timing of this one. It was a heck of a lot longer than City Fire claims. And the apologies from City Fire Division 3 on behalf of the County are disingenuous. One more thing. Is there no plan to super dispatch more agile engines than trying to bring (hook and ladder) trucks around the tight curves? Considering Witzer's profession, I have a hunch we have not heard the last of this.
Once again another great observation from someone that has no information regarding the incident and no firefighting training. The house was located at the top of a narrow winding hillside road (sunset plaza area). Even driving fast in a small sports care, it would still take you several minutes to reach this house. 6-8 minutes for several fire engines is a great response time. As far as using smaller, more agile engines as you propose, a fire of this magnitude requires a lot of water, hence a large apparatus or fire engine. Yes they make smaller fire engines but they are not used for structure protection as was required in this case. Regarding the truck company (ie hook and ladder apparatus), they are required to effect ventilation (in laymans terms creating holes in the roof to let out hot toxic smoke and gases) this makes the interior more tenable for fire attack teams, slows the spread of the fire, and hopefully reduces smoke damage. The equipment carried on the "hook and ladder truck" is absolutely necessary at a fire of this size. The truck carries saws, forcible entry equipment and a large amount of salvage equipment (large plastic covers) which by the way were used to protect a lot of the homeowners belongings. Hope this information clears some things up for you.
USC Marshall Alum

Buena Park, CA

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#12
Sep 16, 2009
 
Dan Woska wrote:
People today are so calloused and so angry about their lives that they even make fun of someone who lost his home to a fire....
Brian Witzer is a good man who works tirelessly on a contingency basis for people who cannot afford to pay $1,000 an hour for the attorneys who represent the rich and powerful.
Denegrating anyone who has lost a home to fire is a view of the internal character of the one who scoffs.
Relax!! The readers understand Witzer has the resources to get back on his feet.
get a life

Anaheim, CA

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#13
Sep 16, 2009
 
I ain't saying nuttin...but how's his business been this past year??? Hummmm, a violin, an egg, oils...to say noting of his new golf clubs......and what about the car, a new Ferrari maybe???

“Changed screen name 2 Stedenko”

Since: Nov 08

Anaheim, CA

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#14
Sep 16, 2009
 
get a life wrote:
I ain't saying nuttin...but how's his business been this past year??? Hummmm, a violin, an egg, oils...to say noting of his new golf clubs......and what about the car, a new Ferrari maybe???
Business just got a lot better. I'll bet he had a ton of insurance on that home. Did the house recently lose a few million in value with housing prices going south? Hmmm, well, I guess that not a problem any more. It would have been tough to sell the house on the open market but it looks like the insurance company just bought it.

I wouldn't be surprised to see quite a few more "accidents" like this occur during the next year or so.
Odd Comment 101

Naples, FL

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#15
Sep 17, 2009
 
Odd that he'd bring up career that may have led to a retribution fire...I say, at minimum, insurance investigators should closely examine all leads, including his current financial prospectus..
Couple questions

Los Angeles, CA

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#16
Sep 17, 2009
 
If you want a 2 minute response time, don't live up in the canyons or hills that require narrow roads to get to. Seriously. I'd think an attorney would have the common sense to understand this but maybe not. Or maybe he got smoke inhalation.

Second....he seems to be a successful attorney against large corporate clients. I wonder if there's any history of threats against him.

Third, I wonder if he's going to sue.

Fourth, the last few years, particularly with the drought and global warming, millions upon millions of dollars (taxpayer dollars) have been spent fighting fires protecting homes in the mountains. Maybe it's time to stop building residential areas in wildfire zones?
What

El Segundo, CA

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#17
Sep 17, 2009
 
Lawyers can be so slick at times. He heard a bang and did not go investigate.

BS, Your house is your castle moron. Strape on your AK47 and check it out, you little female dog.
LA Citizen

Placentia, CA

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#18
Sep 17, 2009
 
He should sue the City for closing down nearby fire stations that could have easily been sent to his fire. There have been major fires and a child drowning, yet the City Council still is closing fire engines and ambulances. The other day at City Council during budget negotiations, Ed Reyes talked about how everyone should attend the "El Grito" mexican independence celebration. That is our leadership during a financial crisis.
Sue Meto

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

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#19
Sep 17, 2009
 
"he seems to be a successful attorney against large corporate clients. I wonder if there's any history of threats against him."
This guy sues anybody including the little guy, it's probably someone he bankrupted not the big corporations that can afford it.
Sue Meto

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

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#20
Sep 17, 2009
 
Dan Woska wrote:
People today are so calloused and so angry about their lives that they even make fun of someone who lost his home to a fire. I guess we should just make fun of everyone afflicted with illness, homeless, who have lost jobs, whatever.
Brian Witzer is a good man who works tirelessly on a contingency basis for people who cannot afford to pay $1,000 an hour for the attorneys who represent the rich and powerful.
Denegrating anyone who has lost a home to fire is a view of the internal character of the one who scoffs.
Brian Witzer sues everybody he can including the small guy. People he made homeless or put out of work all hate him. That's why there's ill will against the man.
Face it Dan Woska Karma finally got a guy that drove many a man to the poorhouse.
Oscar

Las Vegas, NV

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#21
Sep 17, 2009
 
Millions of dollars, and no Sprinkler system for his Multi-million dollar home. Liberals in Hollywood really are stupid. More money certainly does NOT make you any smarter. Look at Brittany. And Whitney. And Wacko Jacko. Stupid people with money. But, they are still stupid, by any standards.

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