A Flame for a Flame: Illegal Cannabis Warehouse Inferno Sends Fire Fighters to the Hospital

Imagine waking up on Saturday morning , March 7th to the glorious aroma of dank kush wafting through the window. Although some may wish that was the reality for Angelenos as a two-story illegal cannabis operation in the Warehouse District went up in smoke, the story takes a darker turn faster than a dab pen running out of butane.  

The 69-year-old, 9,100-square-foot brick structure located at 1400 E. Newton St., just a couple of blocks west of where the Santa Monica (10) Freeway fire occurred, sent a plume of toxic smoke over the skyscrapers of Downtown that could be seen for miles away.

This wasn’t just some harmless doobie gone rogue. This was a full-on inferno spewing a toxic cocktail of superheated air, carbon monoxide, and who-knows-what-else chemicals into the atmosphere from one of downtown’s decades-old industrial buildings. 

The good news is that nobody officially cashed in their chips. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but here’s the part where the laughter dies faster than a roach clip in a vacuum cleaner.

Five fire fighters were sent to the hospital due to injuries battling the blaze, and cadaver dogs were brought in after reports that there may have been two people inside. 

Being trapped in a building filled with superheated air sears the nose, mouth, throat and lungs. As thick, black smoke quickly fills the air, vision becomes impaired and breathing becomes impossible choking off any hope of escape, while panic quickly sets in leading to disorientation.

In the most horrific cases, victims might succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning. This silent killer replaces oxygen in your red blood cells, starving the organs and brain. Death can be swift and painless, but the lead-up is a pure nightmare, with many knowing in their final moments there will be no escape.

Even if they manage to escape the flames, smoke inhalation can lead to a slow, agonizing death at the hospital, sometimes hours or days later, as hospital crews conduct numerous tests to confirm the patient is indeed suffering from inhalation injuries, determining degrees of burns and CT scanning for internal organ damage while administering pharmaceuticals, painkillers, and dressing wounds with layers of bandages. 

Worse, If not rescued in time, fire chars the skin, and muscles cook from the inside out.

In this case, the cadaver dogs didn’t find any bodies.  As for the cause of the fire, It’s still under investigation.

Author: Hanny Playa

Lover of all things music. Seeker of the highest frequency. When I’m not writing or attending concerts I’m marching to the beat of a different drum.