High-Rise Explosion Knocks Out Power in Downtown LA Buildings

At least 12 nearby buildings were without power after the blast, which also caused a power outage during a Shania Twain concert at Staples Center

About 13 buildings remained without power Friday morning after an explosion at a downtown Los Angeles high-rise building injured four people, authorities said.

The explosion was reported around 10:10 p.m. Thursday in a 19-story building at 811 West Wilshire Boulevard. Four adults suffered non-life threating injuries, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Brian Humphrey.

Two of the injured victims were transported to a hospital in "good condition," according to LAFD.

LADWP said it expected to have power restored to all of the buildings affected by 11 a.m. except the building where the explosion began. That building may take days to restore power.

Several witnesses described the sound of an explosion before an intense fire.

"A big explosion, and a huge flame rose all the way up the building," said a witness.

The explosion and fire caused a temporary outage that impacted a Shania Twain concert at the Staples Center, an arena spokeswoman said.

"The cause of the fire is under investigation," said Joseph Ramallo, of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.  "However, initial inspections indicate extensive damage occurred to a LADWP on- site industrial power station, which provides power to the building."

More than 160 firefighters contained the fire and discovered possible electrical issues in the basement of the building, according to LAFD.

Although there was widespread damage, fears about the structural integrity of the building were "unfounded," according to LAFD. The building was "red-tagged" as temporarily unfit for occupancy by the Department of Building and Safety, according to the LAFD.

The area where the building exploded near the intersection Wilshire Boulevard and Flower Street was blocked off as repair crews worked to restore power. It was unclear when the streets would be fully opened.

Refresh this developing story for updates.

Corey Arvin contributed to this report.

Contact Us