LAFD Chief Says Stations Will Work to ID Businesses Similar to One in Downtown LA Explosion

The business that burned Saturday in downtown LA, leaving 12 firefighters injured, was identified as a vaping and cannabis supplies wholesaler.


Fire stations in Los Angeles will work to identify businesses similar to the vaping and cannabis supplies wholesale operation that went up in flames Saturday, triggering a powerful explosion and injuring 12 firefighters.

Inspectors will attempt to ensure they are storing dangerous materials safely. The business that burned Saturday contained items like butane, commonly used in the volatile process of extracting honey oil from marijuana plants.

"Those types of businesses pose a threat to the people who work there, the public that goes there, and firefighters if they have to respond there," Chief Ralph Terrazas said Tuesday, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Fire stations will identify which businesses store potentially dangerous chemicals and ensure that they are stored properly, the chief said. Those businesses are required to display a diamond placard alerting emergency personnel that potentially flammable and hazardous materials are inside.

Smoke Tokes -- the site of Saturday's fire -- did not have such a placard, the chief said. NBC4's attempts to contact the person listed as the owner of Smoke Tokes for comment have been unsuccessful.

Eleven firefighters were initially hospitalized with burn injuries after a "massive fireball" engulfed them during the explosion. Seven have been released.

The blast occurred about 6:30 p.m. Saturday while firefighters responded to the initial call of a fire in a single-story building at 327 Boyd St., between East Third and Fourth streets, housing Smoke Tokes Warehouse Distributor, "a supplier for those who make butane honey oil," according to LAFD Capt. Erik Scott.

Warning: The video below may not be suitable for all viewers.

Twelve firefighters were hurt in the explosion and fire. Kim Tobin reported on NBC4 News at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020.

Firefighters had begun an offensive battle inside the building when there was an explosion and multiple buildings became involved, Scott said. Video shows firefighters on the roof escaping through a fireball as they crawl down a ladder.

Carbon dioxide and butane canisters were found inside the building but it is unknown if they contributed to the explosion.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us