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Lessons of the Dogz Fire: Restored Engine 8 Shows Need To Prioritize Restoring Three Remaining Fire Engines Beyond Belmont Shore That LB Taxpayers Had But No Longer Have is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(June 12. 2018, 3:45 p.m.) -- LBFD Engine 8 (based on 2nd St. just west of Bay Shore Ave.) -- restored by the City Council in FY 17 using Measure A funds -- arrived swiftly and managed to contain to a single unit what turned into a three-alarm fire at 2nd St/Glendora Ave. ("Dogz").

LBFD Tweeted (and reported) that the blaze was contained to the "unit of origin" [was prevented from spreading]. Photo below is by Ben Goldberg, taken at roughly 5:50 a.m.

Photo via Ben Goldberg

[Scroll down for further]

However three fire engines that Mayor Foster and prior Councils erased during the "great recession" remain unrestored for taxpayer by Mayor Garcia and the current Council despite LB voter approval of a $40+ million annual cash infusion from the Measure A LB "blank check" sales tax increase.



LBFD Chief Mike DuRee has told the Council that his Department's first restoration priority -- if the Council provides sufficient budget resources -- is restoring Engine 17 at Station 17 (on Argonne Ave.). In late January 2014, a fire destroyed a multi-unit residence virtually across the street from Station 17 because then-Mayor Foster and a Council that included then-Vice Mayor Garcia didn't fund Engine 17 that could have doused the flames nearly immediately. Instead -- with the fire doubling in size every minute -- another engine had to travel from further away. ( coverage here), photos below.)

It's been a while since 4th dist. Councilman Daryl Supernaw (who took office in May 2015) tried but failed to convince Mayor Garcia and his Council colleagues to budget sufficient funds to restore Engine 17. Recently, in putting "blank check" Measure M on the ballot (June 2018 utility revenue transfer/diversion), Supernaw muttered that he hoped it might help restore Engine 17 but (again) with no commitments.


Likewise not restored by the Mayor/Council is Engine 101, the previous second fire engine at Fire Station 1 downtown (Magnolia Ave. between Ocean Blvd. and Broadway) no longer protecting residents and workers amid downtown density. While Mayor Garcia has enabled developer-friendly higher density and higher high rises, he and downtown Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez and Jeannine Pearce have failed to budget sums to restore Engine 101.

Engine 18 (Palo Verde/Wardlow) also lacks a fire engine that previously served ELB.



In the wake of the Dogz fire, Councilwoman Suzie Price (who chairs the Council's Public Safety Committee) wrote on her Council office Facebook page (June 12): "Today was more proof as to why it is so important that we were able to reopen Engine 8 back in Belmont Shore because of their proximity to the fire on 2nd St. today they were able to put the fire out early without damage to surrounding structures."

Yes, that's true...but so is the unspoken corollary: despite collecting over $40 million annually by imposing the highest sales tax rate among all CA cities (tied with only a few others), Mayor Garcia and the Council have failed to restore three fire engines that LB taxpayers had but no longer have to put out fires early without damage to surrounding structures.


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