-- A Los Angeles firefighter was killed and another critically injured Wednesday afternoon after they were apparently hit by exploding manhole covers while responding to a call in Westchester, a department spokesman said.
The firefighters were called to Sepulveda and La Tijera boulevards at 1:57 p.m. after a report of smoke from a possible fire. Once they arrived, there was a larger explosion, and they were hit by the manhole covers, said Ron Myers, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. Firefighters called in a rescue helicopter to fly the injured individuals to a nearby hospital, Myers said.
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LOS ANGELES CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT RELEASE
IIt is with great sadness that the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department share word of one City of Los Angeles Firefighter dying today in the line of duty.
On Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 1:57 PM Los Angeles Firefighters were summoned to investigate smoke in the 8800 block of South Sepulveda Boulevard in the Westchester area of Los Angeles - not far from Los Angeles International Airport.
At approximately 2:20 PM, an explosion occurred at a nearby building, causing injury to two male Firefighters and one civilian.
Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien (pictured right), age 35, a 10 year veteran of the LAFD assigned to the 'A' Platoon at Fire Station 95 since October 2005, died shortly after arrival at the Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center, Marina Campus.
Engineer Anthony J. Guzman, age 48, an 18 year veteran of the LAFD assigned to the 'A' Platoon at Fire Station 95 since February 2002, suffered multiple fractures and facial trauma. He was transported to the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he remains in serious but stable condition.
Preliminary reports indicate the civilian was treated at the scene and released.
As dictated by Fire Department policy, a formal and detailed multi-agency investigation is underway to determine the exact nature of the explosion, as well as the precise cause and manner of the Firefighters death.
The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department thank you for your kind words and sentiment at this time of overwhelming sorrow and immense loss.
The latest information about this incident, as well as details regarding memorial services will be offered via this blog, and can be accessed anytime via LAFD.ORG