An explosion Saturday at an oil manufacturer in downtown Los Angeles injured 11 firefighters who had gone inside and on the roof to try to control a fire. Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott said “one significant explosion” shook the neighborhood around 6:30 p.m. Firefighters inside had to run through a wall of flames he estimated as 30 feet high and wide. Some of the fleeing firefighters were on fire and tore off their protective equipment and left it on the sidewalk, along with melted helmets, Scott said.
All 11 firefighters suffered burns ranging from minor to serious. Three were listed as critical condition, and two of them were on ventilators. However, all were expected to survive. “Things could have been so much worse,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Medical Director Dr. Marc Eckstein, who works at the hospital and helped treat the injured.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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