Electrical Arc Burns Three Workers in Los Angeles

Friday, May 26, 2006 |

On Friday, May 26, 2006 at 8:40 AM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, four LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Arson Unit, two EMS Battalion Captains, one Arson Investigation Unit and a Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Battalion Chief Dean Ulrich, responded to a Multi-Patient Electrical Burn Incident at 1115 South Boyle Avenue in the Industrial Eastside of Los Angeles.

The first Company arrived in response to a combination of calls reporting a structure fire and multi-patient electrocution, to discover alarm bells ringing and fire sprinkler activation at a 100' x 200' one story industrial building.

Firefighters and Paramedics were directed to a loading dock on the northwest side of the building where they found three workers with electrical burn injuries.

According to witnesses, the three men, employees of Sun Valley, California based Metal Etc, Incorporated, were involved in the decommissioning of the former telephone directory printing plant.

A bystander stated that a 39 year-old worker and his 24 year-old colleague were in an electrical room removing items, including cables they believed to be de-energized, under the observation of a 59 year-old supervisor nearby.

A sudden high-voltage burst of electricity caused the two younger men to be enveloped in a massive electrical arc, and their supervisor to be blown through a doorway before adjacent fire sprinklers were activated by the flash fire.

The two younger men sustained second- and third-degree burns to more than 25% of their bodies, including their faces, while the supervisor suffered lesser burns and minor physical trauma.

The three men were transported to the nearby Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, with the supervisor in serious condition and his subordinates in critical condition.

Firefighters secured the buildings utilities pending the arrival of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials, as well as Cal-OSHA personnel, who will be investigating the incident.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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dontp said...

did they not observe NFPA 70E

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Our friends at Cal-OSHA have been reviewing compliance issues central to this incident. For further information, we welcome you to contact their nearest office:

State of California DOSH
CalOSHA District Office
320 West 4th Street, #850
Los Angeles 90013 USA
Phone: 213-576-7451
Fax: 213-576-7461

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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