The circumstances that caused an explosion and massive fire in a California building are being investigated. A hazmat team responded to the scene in downtown Los Angeles as over 230 firefighters battled the blaze, which was categorized as a major emergency. Reportedly, the fire department was attending to the fire at about 6:30 p.m. when the blast occurred. Multiple firefighters suffered workplace injuries of various degrees of severity.
According to reports, the officer in charge noticed the dangerous buildup of smoke pressure and the escalating heat inside the building structure, prompting him to order all of the firefighters to get out of the building. As they attempted to escape from inside and from the roof, the explosion rocked the building. The turnout coats of some firefighters were on fire as they came out of the building. Several surrounding buildings were set on fire after the explosion.
Of the 11 injured firefighters, some were in critical condition. Four were rushed to the burn unit’s intensive care department, and two of them required ventilators after superheated gases severely damaged their airways. The other received treatment for burn injuries ranging from minor to moderate and very serious.
Workplace injuries and illnesses suffered by firefighters in California are covered by the state-regulated workers’ compensation insurance system. However, navigating the benefits claims process while recovering from severe burn injuries could be a daunting prospect. This is where the skills of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can be invaluable. A lawyer can seek maximum applicable benefits on behalf of the injured workers.