Fire Involving South L.A. Clandestine Cannabis Operation Proves Deadly

Saturday, February 10, 2024

The Los Angeles Fire Department battled a Major Emergency Structure Fire in South Los Angeles early Saturday morning, involving a clandestine cannabis operation in a seemingly vacant one-story commercial building. Sadly, one man perished in the flames.



The fire was reported via a 9-1-1 call at 1:17 AM on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 828 East Manchester Avenue in the Green Meadows neighborhood, where firefighters arrived quickly to find a 50' x 85' one-story - apparently vacant - commercial building with heavy fire showing and a series of small explosions heard within the structure..

The first arriving firefighters forced entry onto the property and into a portion of the well secured building, to commence an offensive fire attack within the structure, but were soon pushed back by the ever-increasing flames, a series of additional explosions, the presence of unknown chemicals and physical compromise of the structure, that rendered it untenable.

As firefighters made a well-coordinated transition to a defensive operations with multiple large hose streams from aerial ladders, an adult female approached the command post stating her belief that a man remained trapped within the building, that was by then largely consumed by flames.

It took 113 LAFD responders under the command of Assistant Chief Douglas Lewis, 75 minutes to fully extinguish the inferno, confining fire damage to the structure of origin.

Sadly, the adult male described by the witness was later discovered deceased deep within the smoldering structure, which was found to contain a large volume of cannabis products, processing machinery, chemicals and pressurized gas cylinders.

No other injuries were reported.

A positive identification of the decedent, as well as the specific cause, time and manner of his death, will be determined by the County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner.

The cause of the fire and circumstances surrounding the blaze are being actively investigated by LAFD and law enforcement officials.

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