A fire at a Long Beach apartment sparked a cache of fireworks, which exploded on Friday and sent four firefighters to the hospital, authorities said.
Residents of Belmont Shore Condominiums in the 3900 block of Allin Street began calling to report smoke and fires around 8:20 a.m., Long Beach Fire Captain Jake Heflin said. When firefighters arrived, they saw flames coming from a unit on the corner of the three-story building.
As firefighters battled the flames, a loud explosion blew out part of the windows of a second-story apartment and scorched the apartment above, Heflin said.
The flames ignited several sets of legal fireworks that were stored in the second floor unit, which appeared to be vacant and used for storage, he added.
“There were four large explosions and several minor explosions in the unit where our firefighters were,” Heflin said.
After the fire was extinguished around 8:40 a.m., four firefighters were transported to nearby emergency rooms for medical evaluations. Two initially reported minor burns and hearing damage. They were joined by another firefighter who reported hearing damage and a fourth who reported burn injuries.
“Injuries to our firefighters appear to be minor at this point,” Heflin said.
No civilians were injured in the incident, officials said. Two people who lived in the third floor apartment were moved, Heflin said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Los Angeles Times