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ATF Joins Downtown Fire Investigation

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At the request of L.A. officials, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending a team of arson and explosives experts, along with special agents from its L.A. field office, to look into an explosion and fire in downtown Los Angeles over the weekend that left a dozen firefighters injured, two of them critically.

They will be investigating what caused a massive fire and explosion at Smoke Tokes Wholesale Distribution at 327 E. Boyd St. near the intersection with San Pedro on Saturday.

According to a department spokesman, after they entered, firefighters entered the building an explosion shot canisters of butane and CO2 at least two blocks away. In all, 11 firefighters were hospitalized and a 12th firefighter was treated in the emergency room. As of this morning, six remained there in stable condition.

It says its National Response Team can help determine the origin and cause of the fire and also help gather evidence for potential criminal prosecution.

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The ATF team was expected to arrive on site today. A spokeswoman for the ATF said she would not be able to offer any further details until they could begin assessing the scene.

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