Friday, August 26, 2011

Car Explodes Inches from Firefighter's Face in Los Angeles

From the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles. Our men and women in public safety do an amazing job!

Car Explodes Inches from Firefighter's Face

Despite a car exploding inches from his face, a steadfast Los Angeles firefighter put out the blaze and left the scene with no injuries. The incident happened Aug. 19 in the 5300 block of Wilshire Boulevard, according to dramatic video of the incident posted on YouTube by user Morningstaric.

"As they were attacking the fire, it appears from the video, that an airbag went off, sending sparks," said LAFD Capt. Jaime Moore. "They had their personal protective equipment on, so he was not injured."

"As you can see in the video, he didn't event flinch," Moore said. "He took a step back and continued fighting the fire." (Click on the link below to watch the video.)

Car fires are common occurrences for the LAFD, although thanks to changes in automotive technology, the danger level has risen in recent years, said Moore.

"This is something we're starting to see more of with the permutation of air bags and the permutation of stronger metals in vehicles," said Moore.

Unlike the mostly natural upholstery of older models, cars nowadays include materials, such as polycarbonate plastic, that emit dangerous gases when burning. In the video, the dramatic explosion is most likely amplified by magnesium, which creates bright lights when it burns, said Moore.