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.

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CuddleFish May 19, 2010 @ 7:30 a.m.

$370K damage for about $20 "scrap metal." LOL!


Joe Poutous May 19, 2010 @ 12:42 p.m.

Oh, man - that is terrible. I'm betting that the people who were displaced didn't have renters insurance.

And I'll bet the guys that were working on getting the scrap are probably not bonded or insured.

Instantly homeless, hospitalized and without recourse. I hope I'm wrong.

  • Joe

CuddleFish May 19, 2010 @ 12:48 p.m.

I'm betting they had no business improperly cutting up a propane tank and setting their place on fire.


Joe Poutous May 19, 2010 @ 1:11 p.m.

There are guys that drive around in beat down pickups and collect scrap. Glorified versions of the guys that get cans out of the trash. They stop by autoshops, drive around older neighborhoods and the like searching for scrap.

No way would they have been able to get a large propane tank into a truck without a crane. So the solution is to cut it into 100lb chunks.


  • Joe

CuddleFish May 19, 2010 @ 3:04 p.m.

Boom!!! LOL!!

My guess was it was one of those small propane tanks like from a barbeque or stove or RV type setup. Big tank, little tank, either way, they still had no business cutting up a propane tank in a residential yard if they didn't know how to safely manage the job. Really lucky no one was killed.


SurfPuppy619 May 19, 2010 @ 4:19 p.m.

I'm betting they had no business improperly cutting up a propane tank and setting their place on fire.

There was a guy in LA or San Bernardino recently who was stealing $2K fire hydrants and then cutting them into smaller pieces for scrap, less than $100 in scrap value..........crazy stuff.


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