1961 Bel-Air Fire Spurred Major Changes in Fire Safety Rules

Firefighters are not able to save a home on Roscomare Road in 1961. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Firefighters are not able to save a home on Roscomare Road in 1961. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

The brush fire that burned several homes in Bel-Air on Wednesday echoed back to one of Los Angeles’ most destructive fires, which hit the same neighborhood in 1961.

The Bel-Air fire ravaged Bel-Air and Brentwood over two days, destroying more than 500 homes — including those of some celebrities.

In a headline, Life magazine later called the fire “A Tragedy Trimmed in Mink” in a nod to the upscale location of the fire.

The fire resulted in major changes in local fire safety laws, including brush clearance rules and an eventual city ban on wood shingle roofs. The roofs were highly flammable and allowed the flames to quickly spread through neighborhoods.

Read the full story on LATimes.com