Criminal Investigation Opened Into LAFD Explosion

Detectives from the Major Crimes Division of the Los Angeles Police Department have launched a criminal investigation into the cause of a fire and explosion Saturday that injured twelve firefighters, two critically. LAPD joins LAFD and AFT who are also investigating the incident.

The fire occurred at a hash oil manufacturing site in downtown Los Angeles. A sudden fireball erupted from the building and was caught on video as it burned several escaping firefighters.

The business, identified as Smoke Tokes, is reportedly operating without the knowledge of city regulators in what officials called a “ghost business.” The building appears to have contained a flammable product reported to be butane, or butane honey oil. Butane is a necessary component to manufacture butane hash oil or BHO, a highly concentrated for of THC.

More on the fire:

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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