LAFD firefighter gets ear severed in explosion at homeless encampment fire

profile photo
By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

LOS ANGELES – A firefighter severed an ear and 10 other crew members suffered minor injuries after an explosion occurred during a brush fire in a homeless encampment in the Sepulveda Basin, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire broke out in the 15700 block of West Burbank Boulevard in LA’s Encino neighborhood Monday afternoon. 

SkyFOX video from the scene showed the firefighter being treated by his comrades on the ground as they walked him to a nearby helicopter.

LAFD spokesman Erik Scott told City News Service that the firefighter was flown in critical condition to Northridge Hospital Medical Center. The firefighter who had their ear severed has since had their ear re-attached and is now out of the hospital.

Crews on the scene halted the spread of the brush fire within about 30 minutes. The 10 other firefighters hurt in the explosion are expected to be OK.

It’s unclear what caused the explosion. 

“Initially we thought it might have been a propane tank,” LAPD Deputy Chief Ruby Flores said, adding that investigators found no evidence of a propane tank.

On Tuesday, the bomb squad personnel continued their efforts, which included “rendering safe” suspicious devices.

This fire is being investigated as a suspected arson case, officials said.  

author photo
About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.