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Eleven firefighters injured and building ablaze after explosion in LA

"Damian Arce" (2020-08-21)


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Shocking footage shows the moment firefighters had to crawl down a ladder through a wall of flame as they desperately tried to escape a building following an explosion in Los Angeles.

Eleven firefighters were injured in the massive blast as they tackled a blaze at a supplier of butane honey oil - also known as hash oil - in downtown LA.

The first responders had gone inside the building after an initial report of a fire and then had to run for their lives when a ball of flame shot out of the building, scorching a fire truck parked truck across the street.

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott said the 'significant explosion' shook the neighborhood around 6:30pm.

Firefighters inside had to run through a wall of flames he estimated to be as much as 30 feet high and wide.

The dramatic scenes were all caught on cellphone video and saw those who were on the roof forced to scramble down a ladder that was engulfed in fire.

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The firefighters had no option to escape other than though the ball of flames which was 30-feet wide and swirling around the ladder they were using

While firefighters were inside attempting to find the source of the blaze, there was 'a significant explosion, very high, very wide, rumbling the entire area.'

Capt. Scott said people at the scene described the explosion as sounding like a freight train or jet engine. The fleeing firefighters tore off their protective equipment that had burned through and helmets that melted, Scott said.

'The was one of the worst scene's I've seen,' he said.  

The 11 firefighters were transported to County USC Medical Center, where they will remain overnight, to be treated for burn injuries and smoke inhalation.

At least three of them suffered critical injuries, but were said to be stable on Saturday night. Their injuries were not thought to be life threatening. 

Several were sent to the intensive care unit for burns, and two were put on ventilators, reported.

The LAFD were already responding to a blaze at a one-story commercial building on East Boyd St at Smoke Tokes, a hash oil supplier.