LAFD captain severely burned in downtown warehouse explosion sues vape shop, building owners

Local news
Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department investigate the scene of a fiery explosion on May 16, 2020, that injured 11 firefighters on Boyd Street in downtown Los Angeles. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department investigate the scene of a fiery explosion on May 16, 2020, that injured 11 firefighters on Boyd Street in downtown Los Angeles. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles Fire Department captain severely burned in a May 2020 explosion inside a downtown L.A. warehouse has sued the owners of the building and a vaping supply shop housed there, accusing them of hazardous activity, premise liability and negligence.

Victor Aguirre and his wife, Claudia Aguirre, filed suit Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against property owner Steve Sungho Lee and his various companies along with the operators of Green Buddha and Smoke Tokes, a smoke and vape shop inside the East 3rd Street warehouse where the explosion occurred. Twelve firefighters were injured.

After a criminal investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Los Angeles Police Department, they were charged with more than 300 criminal counts.

The lawsuit claims Victor Aguirre, a 20-year veteran of the Fire Department and father of two, suffered catastrophic injuries in the explosion, including severe burns over much of his body and “devastating third-degree burns” to his hands. The burns resulted in so much damage that each of his fingers had to be partially amputated, and he has undergone 25 surgeries since. He was hospitalized for two months and has been able to return to the Fire Department in an administrative capacity.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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