Valley Glen Explosion Sends Two to the Hospital

Monday, April 12, 2021

An explosion rocked a Valley Glen home, causing extensive damage and sending two to the hospital, one with critical injuries.

At 9:26PM on April 11, 2021 the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to reports of an explosion in the 12700 block of W Archwood Street in the Valley Glen area.  Firefighters arrived to find no active fire but clear signs of a large explosion.

Multiple operations were put in place to initiate a search, gather information to determine the number of occupants and mitigate any hazards.

One adult male (59 yo) patient was quickly located outside the home and transported with critical burn injuries. Firefighters detected the smell of a natural gas and worked to locate and secure the leak.  Additional crews were conducting the search operation in shoulder-deep debris when a firefighter heard a tapping sound. They started delayering the debris and found a second adult male (46 yo) deeply buried. Using a chain saw, crews carefully removed debris from around the patient and extricated him. Fortunately, he was alert and talking to firefighters. He was evaluated and transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

There are a total of seven residents in the home and the remaining five were not injured (two adult female and three children). An adult female from a neighboring home requested medical attention and then declined transport to the hospital, bringing the total patients evaluated to eight.

The residence was red-tagged by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, prohibiting any further entry.  A total of 13 homes surrounding the incident were requested to evacuate and seven homes sustained varying levels of damage from the debris but none were determined unsafe for occupancy.

Per protocol, LAFD and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) established a Unified Command to manage the incident, with LAPD maintaining an investigative lead, supported by the LAFD Arson and Counter-Terrorism Section. Their preliminary examination of the home determined the explosion was not caused by a natural gas leak or a Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) extraction lab. The inspection did find evidence of marijuana being grown in the garage area. Investigators believe the equipment from this marijuana grow may have caused the explosion. 

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