Electrical-room explosion at La Jolla high-rise hurts 2, forces evacuations
by Dave Schwab
Oct 01, 2013 | 2481 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
About 100 firefighters turned out to potentially assist residents — many of whom are elderly — in evacuating from the high-rise building after an electrical-room explosion at 939 Coast Blvd. in La Jolla on Oct. 1. Photo by Dave Schwab I La Jolla Today
About 100 firefighters turned out to potentially assist residents — many of whom are elderly — in evacuating from the high-rise building after an electrical-room explosion at 939 Coast Blvd. in La Jolla on Oct. 1. Photo by Dave Schwab I La Jolla Today
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More than 100 firefighters responded to a fire Oct. 1 in La Jolla that was caused by an electrical-room transformer that exploded. The explosion injured two workers, one seriously, at 939 Coast Boulevard — a high-end, high-rise condominium on the La Jolla oceanfront.

The fire in the 20-story building, which has 162 residential units and about 200 residents, was reported about 11:30 a.m.

“There were two electricians working on the transformer at the time. Both suffered some burns,” said Maurice Luque, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman. “One of the men’s burns might be considered very serious, perhaps life-threatening. The other’s burns were very minor on the upper part of his body. There were no other injuries whatsoever.”

Luque said the explosion itself was confined to the first-floor electrical room and “was knocked down within seconds by our crews when they arrived.”

There was no structural damage to the electrical room itself.

“[There was] just a lot of charring and smoke,” said Luque.

Power remained on in the high-rise building while first-floor occupants were evacuated by authorities as a precautionary measure.

Luque said about 65 percent of the building’s 200 residents were home when the fire happened. He said many of them evacuated themselves while others remained.

“Many of the residents are elderly, and we had so many firefighters here, not because there was a fire or smoke damage, but to potentially assist residents,” Luque said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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