Long Beach firefighters injured after fireworks explosion while battling condo fire

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Saturday, June 18, 2022
Firefighters injured after fireworks explosion at Long Beach condo
Several firefighters were injured following a fireworks explosion as crews were battling a fire that broke out at a condo in Long Beach.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Several firefighters were injured following a fireworks explosion as crews were battling a fire at a condo in Long Beach.

Heavy, dark smoke and flames shot out of the second and third floors of the Belmont Shore condos, after a fire broke out Friday morning.

Mary Ellen Nadeau and her dog Skipper live on the first floor.

She found out the homes above her were on fire when someone started pounding on her door.

"I ran back and closed the balcony door, luckily, because the balcony caught on fire and I don't have any fire in my place just smoke and water," Nadeau said.

Long Beach Fire Battalion Chief Karen Rindone said that 10 minutes into battling the blaze, loud blasts and sparks from fireworks were seen coming from the condo on the second floor.

"I called for a second alarm when we had those fireworks go off," Rindone said. "That incurs a lot more resources on scene, and then support, so arson support, search and rescue."

"It was very loud, yes, and it was really nonstop," Nadeau said. "It was a lot of fireworks, and then the firemen, when they jumped out onto the balcony, and they're all standing there like dodging, because I think there were some rocket launchers."

RELATED | LAPD issuing new warnings to prevent illegal firework activity over 4th of July weekend

The police department is ramping up efforts to crack down on illegal fireworks and is reminding the public of the risks.

The Long Beach Fire Department said that four firefighters suffered minor injuries and burns.

Rindone reminds everyone all fireworks are illegal within Long Beach city limits.

"I highly recommend, personally speaking, to not light off any illegal fireworks in our city," she said.

Rindone said the fire started in the vacant second floor condo. Nadeau thinks squatters had been staying there.

She's just thankful for the firefighters who went above and beyond to protect her and some of her priceless memories.

"They took all my pictures and put them on like the sofa and covered the whole thing with a tarp," Nadeau said. "Oh my gosh, that's so sweet."

Long Beach fire officials said arson investigators will analyze all the evidence to determine was exactly caused the fire.

The injured firefighters are expected to be OK, and no one else was injured.