Downtown Los Angeles Explosion Hits Communities Hard

INCIDENT SUMMARY

City of Los Angeles Firefighters were dispatched to a commercial structure fire in the 300 block of East Boyd Street, Los Angeles, California on Saturday, May 17, 2020.  Resources emptied out LAFD Fire Station 9, one of the busiest stations in the country and near Skid Row was dispatched at 1826 PT .

Spot fires and hot spots were extinguished at 2006 hours PT.

FIRE OPERATIONS

First due units arrived within four minutes (1830 PT) to an one-story commercial building with heavy smoke and flames visible.  The fire strategy at the time was  an offensive  strategy with RA9 (rescue ambulance) and Fire Station 9 crews going up to the roof and others going interior.

Interior conditions did not feel right to the Officer with increased heat and smoke from the rear, he immediately ordered everyone to Abandon the Building, requiring everyone to exit the building now.

MAY DAY.  MAY DAY.

As they were exiting, that’s when the unthinkable happened. A significant large explosion  was reported by those on the fire ground as very high and very loud with a rumbling felt throughout the area.

With an aerial ladder to the roof and still extended, firefighters raced down the rungs through a fire inferno burning their turnout coats, hands, back, ears and arms before making to the fire ground.  Others baled out of the interior as fast as possible but not before they too, were burned.  A MAY DAY was called reporting 11 firefighters were down.

Photo Courtesy | LAPD HQ

FULL RESPONSE 

Resources include the following listed below that were dispatched throughout this fire incident.

  • AR1 AR9
  • BC1 BC10 BC11 BC12 BC14 BC18 BC2 BC4 BC5 BC9
  • CM21 CM22 CM32
  • E10 E13 E14 E15 E17 E2 E201 E202 E203 E205 E209 E210 E215 E220 E221 E226 E227 E233 E25 E266 E27 E3 E4 E5 E89 E9 E90 EM1 EM11 EM13 EM15 EM17 FS9
  • H1 H3 H4
  • HA1 HA3 HA4
  • HR3
  • RA1 RA10 RA11 RA13 RA14 RA15 RA17 RA2 RA20 RA209 RA21 RA25 RA266 RA27 RA3 RA33 RA4 RA46 RA6 RA66
  • RA803 RA809 RA827 RA9
  • SQ21
  • T1 T10 T15 T2 T20 T21 T26 T27 T3 T33 T5 T66 T9
  • UR27 UR5 UR88
  • CH9; 13 14

EVIDENCE PRESERVATION

Command broadcasted several times for members to exit the fire ground who were not engaged directly in firefighting operations to pull back upon recommendation of the Safety Officer. This is now being treated as a crime scene.

Throughout the night and into the wee hours on Sunday morning, same messages of telling people to leave everything in place and not to touch anything was broadcasted over the TAC channels.

FIRE CAUSE

Arson Fire Investigators are due , if not already will comb through the site to sift through evidence to determine the cause.  One of the goals from this incident is to put together an on-scene investigation and with another in-depth investigation that will be shared with LAFD and others across the region.

For now, they are scrutinizing every little detail in a meticulously manner.  There is a lot of evidence and we all expect this investigation is going to be a few days to weeks to possible months.

While investigating this incident is important, a lot of focus is on the injured firefighters and their recovery. This is a time for communities to come together and support them.

An update by Fire Officials, states three firefighters have been released this morning at 0900 hours PT with eight still hospitalized. Two are in critical but stable condition.  A 12th firefighter was seen in the ER last night but released in the same evening.  He had was reported to having a minor extremity injury.

MENTAL HEALTH

Firefighters have been truly traumatized by this whole incident, whether they were on the fire ground or around the City, to those in this profession and others

For those who seek out Mental Health options, please contact our friends as SafeCallNow.org, a non-profit organization specializing as a 24-hour confidential 24-hour crisis referral service for public safety members, emergency services members and their families nationwide.  They are only a phone call away – #206.459.3020 or you can find out more by visiting their website at htps://safecallnow.org/

UPDATES

We will release updates as information is received from verified sources.

See our investigative report on the City’s structure commercial fire history due to be released this afternoon.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 5/17/2020 – 1150 PT

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