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Explosion blowing manhole covers off

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Fire 4 enroute UCLA with one FF.

*EXPLOSION* 8800 S. Sepulveda Bl.; TG ; FS 5, Underground vault explosion. Firefighter injured. No info at this time.; Ch:7,12 @1:57 PM -Ron Myers###
 
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I am not sure if those trucks were Sanitation or Department of Water and Power.....kind of out it took out the Water and Power Credit Union too.

There is also an alarm at nearby LAX, but probably not related.
 
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Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien, age 35, a 10 year veteran of the LAFD assigned to the 'A' Platoon at Fire Station 95 since October 2005, died shortly after arrival at the Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center, Marina Campus.

Engineer Anthony J. Guzman, age 48, an 18 year veteran of the LAFD assigned to the 'A' Platoon at Fire Station 95 since February 2002, suffered multiple fractures and facial trauma. He was transported to the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he remains in serious but stable condition following surgery.
 
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This explosion was blocks from my office. I wasn't aware it happened until I got into my car to go home at 3:30. The radio was already tuned to KNX 1070 and they were broadcasting continuous coverage.

I got onto the 110 freeway and there were six or seven LAPD Bomb Squad trucks (lights and sirens) blasting down the freeway shoulder, passing the gridlocked traffic by like 70 mph.
 

Thayne

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So does anyone know what caused it? I have been involved with a few electrical vault explosions-fires; and they usually are localized to one vault.

Must have been some other gas around to cause it to spread thru the raceways--
 
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March 28, 2008 - 11:54pm

By DAISY NGUYEN
Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A fire in an aging high-voltage cable caused a series of blasts and led to the death of a firefighter as he investigated the explosions, city authorities said Friday.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called it "a freak accident" and focused attention on the electrical infrastructure of the nation's second-largest city. The cable was about 60 years old.

The blasts, which blew covers off of manholes, also badly injured a fire engineer and damaged a credit union building.

Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien, 35, was killed Wednesday when he turned on a power saw to cut through the metal door of a utility room that had filled with smoke from the cable fire. The saw ignited gases that had built up in the room, triggering the blast that killed him, authorities said.

The initial fire started in a 240-volt underground cable below a busy corridor near Los Angeles International Airport, said Battalion Chief John Miller, head of the Fire Department's arson and anti-terrorism section. Witnesses reported smelling smoke in the area four hours before the explosions.

Smoke from the fire built pressure which led to an explosion that blew a manhole cover near an office supply store, Miller said. Witnesses reported seeing the cover fly more than 20 feet.

The smoke traveled half a block to the Water and Power Community Credit Union building where it created a second explosion on a street corner, leaving another manhole cover slightly ajar. As firefighters were investigating the second explosion they received reports of smoke coming from the utility room at the rear of the building.

The high-voltage copper cable in a conduit made of lead was degraded, said David Nahai, chief executive officer and general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

He said the tragedy was a reminder that the city needs to aggressively replace old cables with modern ones that have synthetic coverings.

"The infrastructure is starting to show its years and we have to move forward to replace it as fast as we can," he said.

The cause of the cable fire remains under investigation, but Nahai said it was possible there was an "overloading on the copper."

Fire Engineer Anthony J. Guzman, 48, was in serious but stable condition after surgery, Fire Chief Douglas Barry said.
 
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scannerboy02

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LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles firefighter killed by an explosion last week is being honored as a selfless professional.

Hundreds of firefighters from around the country gathered Friday at a memorial service for 35-year-old Brent Lovrien in the downtown Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Lovrien's casket bears the number of his fire station, 95.

Lovrien was killed March 26 when he turned on a power saw to get into an electrical panel, igniting gases given off by an old high-voltage cable that had caught fire underground.

He was the first Los Angeles firefighter to die on duty since 2004.
 
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