An explosion at a hash oil manufacturing business in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday has left 11 firefighters injured.
CBS News reports that the explosion and fire happened at approximately 6:30 p.m. at a one-story commercial building located 327 East Boyd Street in an area of the city known as the Toy District.
According to Fire Captain Erik Scott with the Los Angeles Fire Department, witnesses heard “one significant explosion” that sounded like a freight train or jet engine in the neighborhood. Flames shot as high as 30 feet in the air and caused nearby businesses to catch fire.
An estimated 230 firefighters responded to the scene to fight the blaze. Captain Scott said that the 11 firefighters that were injured had gone into the building and onto the roof of the building where the blaze originated. Those firefighters had to run for their lives as balls of flame shot out from the windows. The fire was hot enough to melt helmets and protective gear on some of the firefighters. The firefighters’ injuries ranged from minor to serious, with three listed in critical condition. Two had been placed on ventilators at the time of the report.
All of the injured firefighters were transported to Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center for treatment. Dr. Marc Eckstein, Medical Director for the Los Angeles Fire Department, works at the hospital where the firefighters were treated and told reporters that the situation could have been much worse.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters at a news conference, “The good news is that everybody is going to be okay.
The cause of the fire is still currently under investigation.