Owner thanks LAFD Firefighters for saving his business.

Thanks, Firefighters

LAFD Firefighters representing those who saved a man’s business were recognized at an LAFD Fire Commission meeting for saving a citizen’s business. Fox 11 image

On May 7, the Los Angeles City Board of Fire Commissioners recognized a group of firefighters after a business owner penned a letter to the Fire Chief extending his gratitude for saving his business.

Firefighters responded to a call on East 59th Street Dec. 16 to find heavy fire showing from a one-story commercial building in the Florence area. More than 80 LAFD firefighters battled flames for more than an hour to protect businesses on either side of the fire unit and extinguish the flames.

Business owner Harrison Karabel wrote a letter to Fire Chief Kristin Crowley to express his appreciation. The letter read:

Fire Chief Crowley,

I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the first responders to the warehouse mentioned above where a structural fire was in progress on Sat. 12/16/2023, which is right next door to my property.

I must commend those courageous men and women, those heroic 80 or more firefighters for responding so quickly. Just to watch those true professionals spring into action without hesitation at the obvious danger of a warehouse fully engulfed in flames at the possibility of putting their own lives in danger to contain the fire and possibly rescue anyone that may have been inside.

 With the help of the RS3 Robotic Firefighting Vehicle, the fire department was able to contain the fire to where there was minimal damage to my property. They saved my manufacturing warehouse, where I employ longtime employees who will be able to return to work after the holidays. That alone will always have our unmeasurable gratitude and unwavering highest esteem for a job beyond well done.

 My family has been operating in the construction industry in the city of Los Angeles since 1944. This is why I was compelled to write this letter of thanks to you and your Los Angeles and neighboring fire departments that helped contain that fire that could have been so much worse. I must again commend them for doing a job well done. Under your continued leadership I am confident that they will be even more exemplary men and women firefighter as they are now.

Harrison Karabel


Chief Crowley was moved by the kind words and effort of Mr. Karabel and shared this with the highest authority in the Fire Dept. – the Board of Fire Commissioners.

Firefighters who were the first to respond to this incident were invited to the May Board of Fire Commissioners meeting to be recognized for their efforts and meet Mr. Karabel, who expressed his gratitude. Certificates of Appreciation were issued to each member, which read:

“In recognition and sincere gratitude of your heroic courage, diligent efforts, personal initiative and expedient firefighting efforts to save multiple commercial buildings, performed during dangerous conditions at 911 E. 59th Street, in South Los Angeles, California, on Dec. 16, 2023. The Los Angeles Fire Dept. commends you for your extraordinary property-saving efforts to the citizens of the City of Los Angeles.”

The following LAFD members were recognized:

Firefighter Andrew Johnson
Firefighter Steven Avedissian
Firefighter Christopher Johnson
Firefighter Steven Canchola
Firefighter Dylan Casey

Firefighter Keith Castillo
Firefighter Timothy Coulombe
Firefighter Jose Gomez
Firefighter/Paramedic Alexander Nehrich
Firefighter/Paramedic Robert Tapia
Apparatus Operator Erin James
Apparatus Operator Preston Newman
Apparatus Operator Trevor Insley
Apparatus Operator Ryan Thompson
Engineer Cody Crippen
Engineer Scott Kwasigroch
Engineer Steven Jones
Engineer Gregory Sanders II
Capt. Claudio Fluxa
Capt. Jared Cooper
Capt. Trevor Cooper
Capt. Frank Macias
Battalion Chief Patrick Leonard

To all those who helped save the citizen’s business, the Club says well done and thank you!