The Los Angeles Fire Department said nine LAPD officers were treated and taken to local hospitals in fair condition with minor injuries. One Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officer was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
There were also six civilians, three with serious injuries and three with minor injuries, taken to area hospitals. Names, genders and ages of the injured were not immediately released.
In a tweet, LAPD said “officers were in the process of seizing over 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in the area of 27th Street and San Pedro. Some of the fireworks were being stored in our Bomb Squad trailer as a precautionary measure. Unknown at this time what caused an explosion.”
However, reporters on the scene said immediately before the explosion officers moved them away from the vehicle and yelled, “Fire in the hole,” multiple times.
“When we got over the scene here, we were kind of expecting just some routine thing and to kind of get the shot that was gonna be the bookend to this story of basically this armored canister probably shaking a little bit and smoke coming out at the end of it,” Sky9 reporter Desmond Shaw said. “And then it just went catastrophically wrong. After it happened, we felt the blast up here, and it just kind of shook up my head a little bit.”
Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles Police Department received a tip of illegal fireworks at the home in the 700 block of 27th Street. When officers arrived, they found two children and approximately 5,000 pounds of fireworks.
According to authorities, one man was taken into custody on suspicion of possession of destructive devices, possession of fireworks and child endangerment. Long said the child endangerment case was being referred to the Department of Child and Family Services and the children were taken into protective custody.
Both bomb squad and investigators were on scene as officers loaded pallets full of explosives into a semi-truck in the alleyway behind the home.
LAFD said several homes were impacted by the blast and L.A. Building and Safety inspectors were evaluating them to determine if anyone would be displaced.