A fire followed by an explosion left 11 frontline workers injured in Downtown L.A. on Saturday evening.
At around 6:30 pm on Saturday, firefighters received a call about a building on fire at 300 Boyd Street south of Little Tokyo, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. The building was later identified as Smoke Tokes Warehouse Distributor and is a supplier for manufacturers of butane honey oil—which is highly flammable and was detected at the scene. A similar fire has occurred in the area previously.
While trying to extinguish the fire, there was a huge explosion that rumbled through the entire area, blackening a fire engine parked across the street and melting the helmets of firefighters, as reported by the LAFD.
The fire was put out by 8:08 pm and at a press conference later that night, Mayor Eric and LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas provided an update on those injured. All 11 firefighters are being treated at County-USC Hospital, with four are being treated in the hospital’s intensive care burn unit. Three of those injured have suffered critical but not life-threatening injuries. Two firefighters are on ventilators, another with severe injuries and most firefighters suffered damage from chemical smoke inhalation.
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
Ash was reportedly “raining for blocks” with a thick screen of smoke.
Fire/explosion in Little Tokyo, LA pic.twitter.com/62C6PaNr3g
— Marilyn Nguyen (@marilynknguyen) May 17, 2020
An elevated vantage point shows the thick black smoke that filled the air around “Bong Row”—the block between Little Tokyo and Skid Row that is largely occupied by smoke shops.
A view of the blaze from Boyd & San Pedro Street.
11 firefighters injured, multiple buildings set on fire after explosion in downtown L.A.
View of the fire in DTLA area near Boyd & San Pedro St. Blast happened 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Fire Chief Terrazas:
“things didn’t seem right,”pic.twitter.com/37KKNylCCP
— Scotty McGuire (@McguireScotty) May 17, 2020
According to the LAPD report, “A MAYDAY was put out over the radio and multiple firefighters were found with significant injuries. Additional units were added, making it a Major Emergency incident.”
The smoke could be seen from Griffith Observatory.
— Anne Bocci (@annebocci) May 17, 2020
— Brian Landis (@brianjlandis) May 17, 2020
Warning: sensitive content below.
Firefighters are seen on a ladder caught in the violent blaze. Thankfully, all are those injured are currently stable.
— Ricardo Puentes (@ricardopuentes) May 17, 2020
Featured image: @celiaesguerra