An explosion in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday evening sent at least 11 firefighters to the hospital, Breitbart reports.
The first responders “suffered burns ranging from minor to serious,” according to a report from the Associated Press. Thankfully, all are expected to survive.
“One of the worst”
The incident took place around 6:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, when firefighters were called to 327 East Boyd Street in downtown Los Angeles, Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott told reporters, according to the AP. But while “there was nothing unusual” at first, according to Breitbart, things quickly turned south. The AP reported:
Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said one of the firefighters inside the building thought things didn’t seem right — the pressure from the smoke and heat coming from the rear of the building were increasing. He directed everyone to get out, and…they quickly started exiting the building as it was rocked by the explosion.
Flames reportedly shot from the building while firefighters rushed out — some having to jump through a wall of fire, others getting chased down a ladder by the flames, according to the AP. The fire department was even forced to issue “a ‘mayday’ call, which means a firefighter is missing, down, or trapped,” The Guardian reported.
The blaze soon spread to nearby buildings.
“[This] was one of the worst scenes I’ve seen,” Capt. Scott said, according to the AP.
Over 200 firefighters responded to the explosion, which onlookers said sounded “like a freight train or jet engine,” according to the AP.
Shaken up, but surviving
The blast sent 11 firefighters from the initial crew to the hospital. According to NBC Los Angeles, three of the first responders have since been discharged; two were in “critical but stable condition” as of Sunday morning.
But according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, “everybody is going to make it.”
“We have a lot of firefighters who are shaken up,” he added, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Reports indicate an investigation into the cause of the fire — and subsequent explosion — is underway. The building was reportedly used by a company that distributes supplies used to make “hash oil,” also called “honey oil,” a THC extract that “is used in vape pens, edibles, waxes, and other products,” according to The Guardian.
It took first responders roughly two hours to put out the massive blaze, according to NBC Los Angeles.