On-Demand webinar: Beyond Boyd Street: Lessons from the Los Angeles blast that injured 11 firefighters

LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas leads a panel discussion about this defining moment for the department


  • Topic: Beyond Boyd Street: Lessons from the Los Angeles blast that injured 11 firefighters
  • Panelists: LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas; Ian Soriano, the apparatus operator for LAFD Fire Station 9, "C" Platoon; Fire Chief John Tippett, director of Fire Service Programs for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF); and Freddy Escobar, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112.
  • Host: Fire Chief Marc Bashoor, FireRescue1 executive editor

View the webinar on-demand

May 16, 2020, is a date forever etched in the minds of many Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters, including the chief, Ralph Terrazas. On that day, more than 200 firefighters responded to the scene of a fire in a commercial structure – a structure allegedly found to have illegal storage of hazardous materials. A dozen firefighters narrowly escaped with their lives when a massive explosion tore through the building. The firefighters suffered burn injuries – some severe. 

On May 16, 2020, a dozen Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters narrowly escaped with their lives when a massive explosion tore through a building in downtown L.A.
On May 16, 2020, a dozen Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters narrowly escaped with their lives when a massive explosion tore through a building in downtown L.A. (Photo/AP)

Fire Chief Terrazas details the incident, the immediate aftermath of the blast, and provides an update on the firefighters’ recovery. 

Ian Soriano, the apparatus operator for LAFD Fire Station 9, "C" Platoon, describes the incident from the perspective of the firefighters caught in a terrible situation, knowing they needed to exit the building.

Fire Chief John Tippett, director of Fire Service Programs for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) outlines a project the Foundation is working on to share the story of Boyd Street so that other firefighters can learn from the event.

Freddy Escobar, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112, shares how the union stepped up to support its members after the incident. 

Chief Terrazas also reflects on key takeaways from the incident related to building preplans, hazard identification, situational awareness and more.

Note: The webinar includes a short video summary detailing the incident but the sound does not play. You can watch that video, with audio, on the LAFD YouTube page.

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