LAFD probing 'Firehouse Burlesque' video shot at Venice station
The Los Angeles Fire Department has launched an investigation into "Firehouse Burlesque," a video showing a woman in shorts and high heels dancing inside a station firehouse with a hula hoop and donning firefighter gear.
Battalion Chief Armando Hogan said the department's professional standards division was looking into the matter but declined to comment further. It is unclear when department officials became aware of the video.
The video, titled "Firehouse Burlesque Hula Hooping," was shot at Fire Station 63 in Venice and published last week on YouTube by Hoopnotica, a Venice-based company that promotes using hula hoops for physical fitness.
The video's original title was "Firehouse Burlesque Hula Hooping (LAFD 63)," but by midmorning the "(LAFD 63)" had been removed.
The video begins by showing a woman's bare legs in turnout pants as she pulls them up. Wearing a yellow firefighter helmet, shorts and red high heels, the woman dances with the hoop on the apparatus floor next to a fire engine.
At one point, a firefighter is seen prancing around with a hula hoop as two other firefighters watch.
A spokesman for Fire Chief Brian Cummings did not immediately respond Tuesday morning to an email request for comment. Lauren Brand, a spokeswoman for Hoopnotica, confirmed that the company posted the video. She was not directly involved in the filming but noted that company is just a few blocks from Fire Station 63.
Last year, the LAFD launched an investigation after Station 63 and another firehouse allowed department fire engines to be used in porn shoots. In one video released in 2008, an actress climbed onto a fire engine at Venice Beach and exposed herself.
Two weeks after those videos surfaced, the controversy spread to Cummings when he acknowledged that he posed for racy photos years earlier when he was a captain at the Venice firehouse.
Cummings said last year that he and the rest of his fire crew were photographed with a bikini-clad woman on the Venice boardwalk 13 years earlier. The chief said the firefighters also took a picture of the woman posing topless.
Cummings said he violated rules about not bringing dishonor to the LAFD and gave himself community service as punishment, which he said would set an example for the rest of his department.
The firefighters involved in the porn shoots were not disciplined because the City Charter prevented the Fire Department from punishing employees for actions more than two years in the past.
— Robert J. Lopez and Ben Welsh
Video: Hula hooping at Fire Station 63. Credit: Hoopnotica.