An explosion and fire at at a commercial building in downtown Los Angeles Saturday night has wounded 11 firefighters, the L.A. Fire Department said in a statement. AP describes the business as a “hash oil manufacturer.”
Why it matters: The LAFD said the distributor, Smoke Tokes Wholesale Distributor, is “reportedly a supplier for those who make butane honey oil. The cause is of great concern to us and is under active investigation.” More than 230 firefighters attended following a “mayday” distress call, the department tweeted.
An explosion in downtown Los Angeles left multiple buildings on fire and several firefighters injured. https://t.co/dULQzxnHGL
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) May 17, 2020
Of note: Per AP, 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.”
The big picture: The fire department said the severity of injuries was not confirmed. But Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted all of the firefighters were being “treated for their injuries and in stable condition.”
- The L.A. Fire Department said in its statement firefighters were attending the fire call-out “when a significant explosion occurred.”
- A mayday call was put out over the radio and additional units attended the Major Emergency incident.
- SmokeTokes states it is an “international distributor and wholesaler of smoking and vaping products, and related accessories,” selling products including “torches and butane,” vaporizers “puff bars” and pipes.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Rebecca Falconer