LOS ANGELES - One day shy of the one year anniversary of the line of duty death of Los Angeles Firefighter Glenn L. Allen
, an arrest and filing of charges against a suspect was made.
The fatal fire occurred in the late evening of Wednesday February 16, 2011 at 1546 North Viewsite Drive
in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles. Firefighters arrived to find fire in the exterior wall of the structure, which then ran the walls and entered a concealed space in the ceiling. During the firefighting operations failure of the ceiling assembly constructed of drywall, wood framing, and water soaked insulation, resulted in a partial ceiling collapse, causing injury to four Los Angeles Firefighters
and two Los Angeles County Firefighters
, trapping three.
Sadly Firefighter Allen later succumbed to his injuries at 12:15 PM on Friday, February 18, 2011 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center
. Glenn L. Allen was a Firefighter/Paramedic for over 36 years and last served at Fire Station 97. He was just two years away from retiring.
The Arson Investigation determined that the fire started at a gas fed fireplace type burner assembly.
A formal and detailed investigation ensued and now a year-long joint investigation between LAFD's Arson Unit that also included the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) along with LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division (RHD) has now been capped off with a recent arrest.
In the evening of Saturday, February 11th 2012, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives with the assistance of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Gerhard Albert Becker, 48 of Palma De Mallorca, Spain as he exited a flight at Los Angeles International Airport. Becker, a German national, was identified as the suspect in the death of Firefighter Glen Allen, due to improper construction of the home and appliances. Mr. Becker the architect, home builder, and homeowner has been charged with one count of 192(b) PC, Involuntary Manslaughter, and is being held on 2 million dollars bail. He has plead not guilty.
At a press conference on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, LAFD Fire Chief Brian Cummings
stated, "I want to thank the members of the LAFD Arson Counter-Terrorism Section, Los Angeles Police Department Robbery Homicide Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the FBI for their diligence in pursuing this case and filing these charges."
Submitted by Erik Scott
Los Angeles Fire Department
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