This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Cannabis oil factory explosion injures 12 firefighters in Los Angeles

18 May 2020

An explosion in downtown Los Angeles on May 16 injured 12 firefighters after they responded to a fire at a cannabis oil factory. Over 230 firefighters in total responded to the incident after a “mayday” call was put out when first responders arrived at the scene to find firefighters retreating from the building on fire and suffering from severe burns.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

The 12 firefighters had been responding to a blaze which caused an explosion at around 18:30 local time. All 12 firefighters were taken to hospital with four being sent to a burns intensive care unit, two placed on ventilators due to respiratory problems, and five others treated for a variety of burns. Officials later said that all 12 firefighters’ injuries are not life threatening. 

The fire started at a small commercial building in the city’s Toy District before spreading to a number of nearby buildings. The LA fire department’s mayday call was triggered which meant a firefighter was missing, down or trapped. The fire was classed as a major emergency as over 230 firefighters battled the blaze.

A fire official said that the building where the fire originated was a warehouse belonging to SmokeTokes, a cannabis oil factory where the flammable gas butane is used to extract the chemical THC from cannabis plants to create “hash oil”. Hash oil is used in products such as vapes, edibles, and waxes.

Several butane cannisters were found in the street outside of the building following the explosion. An investigation is underway to find the cause of the blast.


Print this page | E-mail this page