And Again !! Two men die after apparent hemp extraction fire and blast

This is now the third time in the last 12 months there’s been a major event around extraction in Los Angeles.

This must be making authorities increasingly nervous on how the issue will be managed.

Media reports

Business where fire occurred was legal, but the extraction operation had not gone through the permit and safety process.

A massive fire and at least one witness-reported explosion at a suspected weed extraction lab claimed the lives of two people and required the efforts of about 150 firefighters to douse the fast-moving blaze in west San Fernando Valley.

Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAPD) responded to the fire inside a 125 (38 metres) sq. ft. facility a little after noon on Oct. 18, LAFD spokesperson Brian Humphrey says in a statement Tuesday.

Here’s the statement

TWO DEAD, TWO OTHERS SEVERELY BURNED FOLLOWING CANOGA PARK INDUSTRIAL FIRE

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
CANOGA PARK

The Los Angeles Fire Department battled a Major Emergency Structure Fire in the west San Fernando Valley on Monday, October 18, 2021.

The fire at 8423 Canoga Avenue in Canoga Park, was first noted at 12:18 PM by an LAFD Paramedic Ambulance crew returning from a nearby emergency. Within moments of their reporting the fire, flames were through the roof of the 125′ x 125′ one-story industrial building that also housed an adjoining but unrelated business at 8425 Canoga Avenue.

As that first-arriving LAFD Paramedic crew circled the structure to gain situational awareness and guide fellow responders, they encountered the first of three adult male civilians with severe burn injuries outside the burning building. Two proved to be in critical condition and the other in serious condition. All three were taken to area hospitals. Sadly, one of the critically injured men died later while undergoing hospital care.

The rapid spread of intense flames and multiple explosions heard within the building guided first-arriving firefighters to quickly commence defensive operations, applying multiple large diameter hose streams from the exterior, including two from atop extended aerial ladders, to prevent flames from extending beyond the well involved structure.

With the exception of a forty square-foot section of the roof at 8427 Canoga Avenue destroyed by surface fire, the tactics proved successful in holding the  blaze to the pair of unrelated businesses under one roof at 8423 and 8425 Canoga Avenue.

It took 150 Los Angeles Firefighter just 75 minutes to extinguish the flames.

Firefighters remained active through the night extinguishing hotspots and minimizing hazards at the structurally compromised building with the help of LAFD’s robotic firefighting vehicle and heavy equipment.

At daylight Tuesday, LAFD crews resumed a systematic search within the largely destroyed premises. During their methodical search among tons of burnt debris inside the structure, firefighters discovered the remains of an adult male, bringing the overall patient count to four, with a total of two deceased and two remaining hospitalized.

No other injuries were reported.

Scientific testing of materials inside the building of fire origin yielded positive results for hemp, and it appears that the operation inside involved the extraction from hemp, not dissimilar to that used in the Butane Honey Oil extraction process.

Though the business was a legal enterprise, the operation inside appeared to be illegal, as it did not adhere to established permitting processes and safety requirements.

Pursuant to protocol, the fire’s cause remains the focus of a joint active investigation by the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force (L.A. Impact).

A positive identification of the dead men, as well as the cause, time and manner of their death will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

 

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