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LA City firefighter dies of injuries

February 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A Los Angeles City firefighter who was burned while battling a house fire in the Hollywood Hills died Friday of his injuries.

Glenn L. Allen, a 38-year veteran of the force, died at 12:15 p.m., said Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The 61-year-old was about a year from retirement.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ordered city flags lowered to half-staff in memory of Allen.

"Glenn was a valiant hero whose selfless sacrifice will forever be honored," Villaraigosa said in a statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with the family of firefighter Allen and his extended family of firefighters at LAFD."

Allen and his fellow firefighters responded to an attic fire at a mansion on the 1500 block of North Viewsite Drive in the Hollywood Hills just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday Fire crews say about 42 minutes into the fire fight, the ceiling collapsed. Four L.A. City firefighters and two L.A. County firefighters were trapped under burning debris and had to be extricated.

L.A. City Fire Chief Millage Peaks said the sprinkler system in the home likely caused the ceiling to collapse. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

"He was doing what he wanted to do, he was doing what he loved, he was serving the city of Los Angeles as all of our Los Angeles firefighters do," said Peaks. "Glenn Allen spent 36 1/2 years of his life serving a city that he loves, serving a city that he lives in and serving a city that he was very proud of."

Four of the six firefighters injured during the fire are out of the hospital. A fire captain was still recovering from surgery and remained hospitalized.

Allen is survived by his wife, Melanie, and his daughter who is nine months pregnant, she is expected to give birth Saturday to a baby boy.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League released this statement:

"Los Angeles Police officers join our brethren firefighters in mourning the death of Los Angeles Firefighter Glenn Allen, who died from injuries he suffered while fighting a fire on Wednesday. The death of Glenn Allen is a tragic and sad reminder of how much gratitude we owe to first responders, who routinely put their lives on the line for the public's safety. We must remember the ultimate sacrifice Glenn selflessly gave after more than 38 years dedicated to protecting and saving the lives of Los Angeles residents. Our thoughts are with the Allen family, whose lives will be changed forever, but we hope they can take solace in knowing that Glenn was a hero and that as his extended public safety family, we will always be there to support them."