Streets Indefinitely Closed, Shuts Out Residents, Business Owners, Employees

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 16, 2020.

Task Force 9 personnel and equipment empited out the station as first due on-scene to a one-story building meshed in between a row of commercial buildings. They arrived within 4 minutes of the intial dispatched call. (1830 PT)

They were in offensive strategy in fighting the fire. Some of LAFD members extended their aerial ladder to the roof with firefighters becoming part of “Roof Operations” and the rest entering the interior as “Interior Operations”.

At a moment when the firefighters opened up the steel doors, the Officer had the keen sense and skillful training to know something was not right – ordering everyone to abandon the building.

As they were exiting the building, a loud explosion occurred, setting turncoats ablaze and scorching them inside them.  There is a lot of drone / news video showing the intense inferno blasting outward the front of the building while firefighters are quickly trying to escape down the aerial ladder. Fire can be seen hitting them all one-by-one over, atop and under them.  It is a terrible scene to watch and heartwrentching.

All-in-all, 12 firefighters would receive a certain degree of burns to their heads (helmets were melted), back, ears and arms.

“We are happy to report that only 4 LAFD members remain hospitalized this evening and are on the road to recovery.  We’re proud to have the ATF National Response Team now on-scene which have joined our Arson Investigators and LAPD Major Crimes detectives on the fire investigation.” LAFD Chief Terrazas said Monday (1815 hours PT)

INTENSE FIRE INVESTIGATION BEGINS

As intense as the fire was, personnel from the LAFD FIU, ATF and other agencies are/will be painstakingly sifting over each area of this fire ground.

Command staff have often broadcasted over their fire radios for all personnel to leave everything as it lay just like it did on the day of the fire.

Streets have been closed indefinitely, shutting any access to business owners, employees and to residents alike. This is to allow for the investigation to move forward without any compromise or contamination of the scene(s).  It has also been saidthis is a crime scene.

There has been no preliminary cause released – only speculations by some news media and Social Media accounts. We will only state the facts as received by verified sources.

OUR THOUGHTS & PRAYERS

We ask you all  to keep these LAFD Firefighters in, their immediate family members and their Fire brothers and sisters in your continued thoughts and prayers.

UPDATES

This is a developing incident and we will continue to update this story when more information has been received.

#LAexplosion #Pray4LAFD

 

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Update 5/18/2020 – 2100 PT

 

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

Downtown Los Angeles Explosion Burns Firefighters, Equipment

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 at 1826 PT.  The incident on Social Media was listed as the #BoydIncident

Initial reports of this location operating as the Smoke Tokes Warehouse Distributor,  a supplier to those who make butane honey oil was later retracted by the Los Angeles City Fire Department stating they are unsure where the fire started.  This building as referenced in an earlier presser was said to contain a large amount of butane, a highly inflammable chemical.

As firefighters arrived on-scene, they reported smoke showing from a one-story building and were in an offensive strategy. As part of their normal course of fire strategy is to enter the interior of the building when conditions present themselves as favorable and safe for firefighters to enter  – so they went in. Others went to the roof as Roof Operations.

After the Engine 9 crew opened the steel doors, the Officer observed something did not feel right with increased heat at the rear of the structure, and smoke conditions beginning to change –  he ordered everyone out of the building.

As firefighters were exiting,  it was at that time when the explosion occurred.  Reports of 11 firefighters scaling down the aerial ladder off the roof and out the front of the building with their turnout gear on fire.

A MAYDAY was called at 1833 PT indicating at least 10 firefighters were down.  The PIO stated those on-scene could see an explosion that was very high and very wide with rumbling throughout the area. Later, it was released that 11 firefighters with unknown degrees of burn injuries  by the PIO had been burned.

A Medical Group was immediately established for the sole purpose of treating firefighters.  10 ambulances were requested via Dispatch.

All-in-all, there were 230 firefighters that would eventually respond to the scene where four structures, including the fire building were now fully involved.  Conditions of the impacted businesses were said to have suffered blown out windows, hot spots and other significant damage.

One building was said to have pack rat conditions with boxes pushed up against windows, from floor to the ceiling and from the front to the rear. They had difficulties accessing the building. It was determined items would have to be pushed from the interior and away from windows. Multiple plans were created throughout the firefighting operational period.

Resources:

  • 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

Footage Credit | Los Angeles Police Department

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.

At the evening presser, it has been stated the cause is unknown and under active investigation. Only two questions were allowed to be asked at the time of the presser.

Significant events

  • Multiple explosions
  • 230 firefighters with equipment responded
  • MAYDAY called
  • 11 injured firefighters
  • 1 aerial truck thrown to the roof
  • 1 fire truck seriously charred
  • Unknown cause
  • Arson investigating

Firefighters  succesfully knocked down the fire at 2008 hours PT.

All 11 firefighters were transported to County USC Hospital, the only regional burn and trauma center in the area.   An evening presser at 2130 hours PT from the City Mayor, LAFD Medical Director and several doctors.  Here is a recap:

  • 11 firefighters transported to County USC being treated
  • 4 have significant burns and in the Burn ICU
  • 2 are on ventilators due to swelling of their airways
  • 5 others have varying burns from minor, to moderate, to serious
  • Burns are to some of their arms, back, ears, hands
  • All 11 were awake and alert upon arrival
  • Some being monitored for chemical inhalation
  • All are said will make it
  • Could have been much worse than it wa

Fire Investigation

  • On-scene investigation going on right now
  • More indepth on-scene investigation to LAFD and throughout region
  • Arson Unit investigating

Mental Health

  • Firefighters on-scene, within own agency traumatized
  • Mental Health and Well-Being counselors at Station 9 and at County USC available to firefighters, families
  • FF families are being taken care by IAFF Union at hospital and for housing

We are saddened by this incident and hearts are broken while those who have been taking care of the sick, injured and distressed, they are in our prayers and thoughts during this difficult time. Families, we are also thinking of you and sending our strength your way. – LR Swenson

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/

 

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 5/16/2020 2240 PT