A fire and an explosion near downtown Los Angeles on Saturday left firefighters injured, according to the fire department.
They first received a call at 6:30 p.m. Saturday about a structure fire in the 300 block of Boyd Street south of Little Tokyo.Initially there was only light and moderate smoke coming out of the building,believed to be Smokes Tokes Wholesale Distributor,a supplier for those who make butane honey oil.According to LAFD spokesman Capt. Erik Scott,the doors were locked and the crew had to force their way in.
The fire prompted a call for backup and 230 more firefighters arrived at the scene.Some firefighters entered on the ground while others climbed up on a ladder to try to ventilate the roof,but started to hear a rumbling high pitched sound,prompting a call for evacuation. Suddenly,an explosion shot flames into the sky forcing the firefighters to walk through a fireball.Witnesses say some firefighters run for safety with their coats on fire.
Atleast 11 firefighters were injured,four of which are in intensive care.Two firefighters were put on ventilators to protect their airway which showed some early degree of swelling from inhalation of the hot gases.All were taken to the County-USC Medical Center for injuries ranging from first- to third-degree burns. At least one firefighter is expected to require skin grafts but all respondents are expected to survive.
The fire was extinguished shortly after 8pm. The cause is yet to be determined.
Major fire in Little Tokyo/downtown Los Angeles at San Pedro and Third. Dangerously close to Skid Row residents, senior and low income housing. Major smoke screen, ash is raining for blocks. pic.twitter.com/s4coh3xbgq
— sean miura (@seanmiura) May 17, 2020