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Eleven firefighters injured and building ablaze after massive explosion in downtown LA

An explosion Saturday at a hash oil manufacturer in downtown Los Angeles injured 11 firefighters who 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 the building that was so intense it scorched a fire parked truck across the street.

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott said ‘one 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.

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.  

Shocking footage shows firefighters desperately trying to escape from flaming inferno after an explosion ripped through a Los Angeles hash oil vaping supplier leaving 11 firefighters injured and three in critical condition as their ladder was engulfed

The shocking footage shows a ball of blame exiting the burning building while firefighters are standing on the ladder

The shocking footage shows a ball of blame exiting the burning building while firefighters are standing on the ladder 

The firefighters had no option to escape other than though the ball of flames

The flames were 30-feet wide and swirling around the ladder they were using

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.'

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.’

Scott said the explosion shook the neighborhood and as first responders arrived they saw firefighters emerge from the building with burns and other injuries. 

At least three of the 11 firefighters suffered critical injuries.

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

Two firefighters were put on ventilators and four were sent to the intensive care unit for burns.

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.  

While they were on the scene attempting to put out the fire, there was nothing unusual whatsoever until suddenly a violent explosion occurred according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange.

The explosion occurred just as firefighters were entering the building and it resulted in a massive response by the LA Fire Department with 230 firefighters at one point at the scene.    

Ten firefighters have been injured and multiple buildings are ablaze after a massive explosion in downtown Los Angeles, officials have said

Ten firefighters have been injured and multiple buildings are ablaze after a massive explosion in downtown Los Angeles, officials have said

Eleven firefighters were injured and at least one building collapsed after the massive explosion in downtown Los Angeles

Eleven firefighters were injured and at least one building collapsed after the massive explosion in downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters push ambulance cots at the scene of a structure fire that injured 11 firefighters

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters push ambulance cots at the scene of a structure fire that injured 11 firefighters

Firefighters respond to an explosion in downtown Los Angeles that has injured multiple firefighters and caused a fire that spread to several buildings

Firefighters respond to an explosion in downtown Los Angeles that has injured multiple firefighters and caused a fire that spread to several buildings

zThe explosion happened at around 6:30pm, while firefighters were already responding to a blaze on East Boyd St

zThe explosion happened at around 6:30pm, while firefighters were already responding to a blaze on East Boyd St

The fire has resulted in a massive response by the LA Fire Department with 230 firefighters now at the scene

The fire has resulted in a massive response by the LA Fire Department with 230 firefighters now at the scene

The fire began at around 6:30pm and led to a massive response from the LAFD

The fire began at around 6:30pm and led to a massive response from the LAFD

Video showed large plumes of smoke billowing over the area and flames shooting up into the sky from one of the buildings. 

The department issued a ‘mayday’ call and characterized the incident as a ‘major emergency.’ By about 7:15 p.m. the fire appeared largely under control. 

The condition of those who were injured was not immediately known. News helicopters showed dozens of fire trucks at the scene. 

LAPD Captain Eric Scott gave more details to local media just after 8:20pm

‘We faced a very difficult situation and a significant incident. A one story commercial building was on fire when we arrived at 6:30pm when there was a significant explosion with multiple firefighters injured.

Social media was quick to show video of the nearby explosion and towering flames that leapt into the sky

Social media was quick to show video of the nearby explosion and towering flames that leapt into the sky 

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters work the scene of a structure fire that injured multiple firefighters, according to a fire department spokesman

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters work the scene of a structure fire that injured multiple firefighters, according to a fire department spokesman

Ferocious flames and thick smoke could be seen from several blocks away

Ferocious flames and thick smoke could be seen from several blocks away 

LAPD Captain Eric Scott gave more details about the fire and subsequent explosion to the media just after 8:15pm

LAPD Captain Eric Scott gave more details about the fire and subsequent explosion to the media just after 8:15pm

Firefighters raced to the scene of the fire which occurred on Saturday evening at around 6:30pm

Firefighters raced to the scene of the fire which occurred on Saturday evening at around 6:30pm

It  took around two hours before the fire was finally under control. Surrounding streets were blocked off during the blaze

It  took around two hours before the fire was finally under control. Surrounding streets were blocked off during the blaze

The skyline of downtown Los Angeles could be seen silhouetted against the night sky

The skyline of downtown Los Angeles could be seen silhouetted against the night sky 

Los Angeles Police Department officers stand at the scene of a structure fire that injured multiple firefighters

Los Angeles Police Department officers stand at the scene of a structure fire that injured multiple firefighters

Firefighters ended up pouring water on the blaze by venturing up onto the roof of a neighboring block

Firefighters ended up pouring water on the blaze by venturing up onto the roof of a neighboring block

All the surrounding streets were packed full of firefighters as the fire resulted in an explosion

All the surrounding streets were packed full of firefighters as the fire resulted in an explosion 

Flames and smoke could still be seen coming from the buildings after 7:30pm, about an hour after the initial report

Flames and smoke could still be seen coming from the buildings after 7:30pm, about an hour after the initial report

Smoke rises from the explosion that took place in the Little Tokyo / Skid Row area

Smoke rises from the explosion that took place in the Little Tokyo / Skid Row area

Fire officials said the fire was out just after 8pm although crews stay on scene in order to continue damping down

Fire officials said the fire was out just after 8pm although crews stay on scene in order to continue damping down

‘More than 230 firefighters arrived on scene. We managed to extinguish the flames by 8:08pm. 11 firefighters have burn injuries. The building where the fire occurred was at Smoke Tokes warehouse distributer – a supplier that makes butane honey oil.’

Butane is an odorless gas that easily ignites, and it’s used in the process to extract the high-inducing chemical THC from cannabis plants to create a highly potent concentrate also known as hash oil. The oil is used in vape pens, edibles, waxes and other products.

On its website, SmokeTokes advertises a wide variety of products including ‘puff bars,’ pipes, ‘dab’ tools, vaporizers, ‘torches and butane,’ and cartridges. 

The company says it is ‘an international distributor and wholesaler of smoking and vaping products, and related accessories.’ Founded in 2009, it offers ‘discounts to loyal customers, fast shipping, a huge catalog of products and customer service that is untouched.’

As firefighters aimed hoses at the long-slung building where the explosion occurred, others could be seen standing next to gurneys that had been readied for the injured. 

The blaze occurred very close to Skid Row residents where many homeless people are camped out on the streets living close to senior and low income housing.

‘We know we’re at risk when we go to any emergency, but we never want to see this happen. So we’re hoping that all these firefighters can recover,’ Prange from the LAFD said. 

‘We’re always worried about a secondary explosion, we don’t know what caused the first one and we’re trying to avoid this incident becoming even worse if the second one does happen,’ Prange told KTLA. 

The LA department upgraded the incident to 'a major emergency' shortly after the explosion occured

The LA department upgraded the incident to ‘a major emergency’ shortly after the explosion occured

Firefighters responding to the blast were met with a difficult situation and had to pour water on the flames from outside as they were unable to go inside of the building

Firefighters responding to the blast were met with a difficult situation and had to pour water on the flames from outside as they were unable to go inside of the building

The fire and explosion too place at the scene of a hash oil shop which was next to a smoke shop

The fire and explosion too place at the scene of a hash oil shop which was next to a smoke shop

This is how the block normally looks before it was ravage by a fire and explosion on Saturday afternoon

This is how the block normally looks before it was ravage by a fire and explosion on Saturday afternoon

Smoke could be seen billowing into the sky as fire trucks and ambulances descended on scene

Smoke could be seen billowing into the sky as fire trucks and ambulances descended on scene

The department upgraded the incident to ' a major emergency' with the firefighters going into defensive mode as they battled the flames, LAFD said at 7pm on Saturday evening

The department upgraded the incident to ‘ a major emergency’ with the firefighters going into defensive mode as they battled the flames, LAFD said at 7pm on Saturday evening

Video showed large plumes of smoke billowing over the area and flames shooting up from one of the buildings

Video showed large plumes of smoke billowing over the area and flames shooting up from one of the buildings

The explosion was so powerful that it blackened a fire engine parked across the street

The explosion was so powerful that it blackened a fire engine parked across the street

The department upgraded the incident to ‘ a major emergency’ with the firefighters going into defensive mode as they battled the flames, LAFD said at 7pm.

Firefighters were seen pouring water on the flames from outside, unable to go inside the burning buildings. 

At one point, firefighters attempted to put out the fire and aimed their hoses from the roof of an adjacent building. 

‘A medical branch has been created for treating and transporting injured firefighters,’ LAFD said. 

No information was available on the conditions of the firefighters or the nature of the ten who were injured.

It was not immediately known what type of business was in the building or what caused the explosion in the first place. 

The LAFD urged people in the area to find a way to shelter from the smoke.

In a tweet, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, ‘My thoughts are with our brave LAFD firefighters. Closely tracking this situation as we continue to get more information.’ 

Fire crews are seen walking away with their oxygen tanks and other gear required for their jobs

Fire crews are seen walking away with their oxygen tanks and other gear required for their jobs

All major streets around the area of the blaze were shuttered in order for emergency crews were able to reach the scene

All major streets around the area of the blaze were shuttered in order for emergency crews were able to reach the scene

The Los Angeles Wholesale Alley close to where the blaze occurred was opened in 1991

The Los Angeles Wholesale Alley close to where the blaze occurred was opened in 1991

The buildings of downtown LA can be seen a short distance away from where the blaze and explosion occured

The buildings of downtown LA can be seen a short distance away from where the blaze and explosion occured

Two firefighters are seen discussing tactics as to how to tackle the blaze which started on Saturday afternoon

Two firefighters are seen discussing tactics as to how to tackle the blaze which started on Saturday afternoon 

A Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter works the scene of a structure fire that injured multiple firefighters

A Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter works the scene of a structure fire that injured multiple firefighters

The LAFD say at least 230 firefighters were on scene attempting to tackle the blaze

The LAFD say at least 230 firefighters were on scene attempting to tackle the blaze

Lengthy ladders and hoses were used in order to reach the outbreak of the original blaze

Lengthy ladders and hoses were used in order to reach the outbreak of the original blaze 

A ladder helps firefighters get up onto the roof of a neighboring building in order to fight the fire opposite

A ladder helps firefighters get up onto the roof of a neighboring building in order to fight the fire opposite

It is still unclear what ignited the blaze or set off the explosion but a full investigation is going to be taking place

It is still unclear what ignited the blaze or set off the explosion but a full investigation is going to be taking place

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters work the scene of a structure fire that injured multiple firefighters

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters work the scene of a structure fire that injured multiple firefighters

Firefighters gather as they pack their equipment away after an horrific night tackling fires

Firefighters gather as they pack their equipment away after an horrific night tackling fires

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, standing next to Engine 9, updates the media on the conditions of multiple Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters who were injured in an explosion. The injured firefighters were members of Engine 9

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, standing next to Engine 9, updates the media on the conditions of multiple Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters who were injured in an explosion. The injured firefighters were members of Engine 9

Firefighters gather near firetrucks after a fire in a single-story commercial building sparked an explosion in the Toy District of downtown Los Angeles

Firefighters gather near firetrucks after a fire in a single-story commercial building sparked an explosion in the Toy District of downtown Los Angeles 

A Los Angeles Fire Department Public Information Officer wearing a facemask speaks on the phone after a fire

A Los Angeles Fire Department Public Information Officer wearing a facemask speaks on the phone after a fire



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