At approximately noon on May 17, two men were cutting open a propane tank (for scrap) on the 2900 block of Imperial Avenue when fumes caused the tank to ignite. A fire quickly spread to the rear of the residential structure. A 52-year-old woman was trapped in an upstairs bedroom but was able to escape by climbing out a window, onto the roof.
The woman and a man were transported to the hospital by paramedics for smoke inhalation and lacerations. Three other people were displaced. There was the usual heavy amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic and a section of Imperial Avenue was closed off for at least three hours. Damage to the structure was estimated at $280,000; contents, $90,000.