Los Angeles fire captain is suing vape stores after a May 2020 explosion left him fingerless

Los Angeles Fire Captain Sues Vape Shop After May 2020 Explosion Made Him FINGERLESS

  • Los Angeles fire captain Victor Aguirre sued two vape shop owners on Wednesday after an explosion at their stores in 2020 left him with ‘catastrophic injuries’
  • Aguirre accuses building owner Steve Sungho Lee and the two vape shop owners of ‘dangerous activity, liability and negligence’ in lawsuit
  • The explosion injured 12 firefighters and left Aguirre in hospital for two months – according to the suit, all of his fingers had to be partially amputated
  • Los Angeles Fire Department says the fire was fueled by too many nitrous oxide and butane containers in the stores
  • Property and retail owners have already been charged with more than 300 criminal counts following a criminal investigation by the ATF and LAPD
  • After signing plea deals in November, the smoke shop owners paid the city of LA more than $100,000










Victor Aguirre and his wife, Claudia, named warehouse owner Steve Sungho Lee and the owners of Green Buddha and Smoke Tokes, the two smoke shops in Lee’s East 3rd Street building where the explosion that left 12 firefighters injured

A Los Angeles fire chief is suing two vape stores and their landlord after a May 2020 explosion caused an excess of nitrous oxide and butane containers in the stores, leaving him with “catastrophic injuries” and no fingers.

Victor Aguirre and his wife, Claudia, named warehouse owner Steve Sungho Lee and the owners of Green Buddha and Smoke Tokes, the two smoke shops in Lee’s East 3rd Street building where the explosion occurred that injured 12 firefighters.

Aguirre accused the three parties of “dangerous activity, premise liability and negligence,” the statement said. Los Angeles Times.

Attorney Patrick Gunning wrote in the indictment that Lee and entrepreneurs Raheel Lakhany and Shafaq Sattar are “responsible for the horrific injuries sustained by Mr. Aguirre and the other 11 firefighters.”

Gunning alleges in the lawsuit that the firefighters believed they were fighting a “routine ventilation restricted structure fire” – however, moments after entering the building, they heard a “popcorn-like sound that became a “ray-like rumble.”

The massive explosion that followed – caused by an excess of nitrous oxide and butane containers in stores, the LAPD and ATF found in a later investigation – swallowed Aguirre and the other firefighters.

According to the LA Times, video and still images taken by witnesses that day show firefighters descending the ladder of a fire truck as they were completely consumed by flames. Aguirre was reportedly the last firefighter to leave the building.

After two months in the hospital, the 20-year veteran of the Aguirre department had to have all of his fingers partially amputated — his body, according to the lawsuit, was covered in severe burns. Since the explosion, he has undergone 25 surgeries.

Although he has returned to the department in an administrative capacity, the lawsuit alleges he has had a “life of pain and suffering,” according to the Times.

The explosion was caused by an excess of nitrous oxide and butane containers in the two stores, the Los Angeles Police Department and the ATF determined — the Los Angeles Fire Department hadn’t inspected the building for a year.

Although he has returned to the department in an administrative capacity, the lawsuit alleges he was left with a

Although he has returned to the department in an administrative capacity, the lawsuit alleges he was left with a “life of pain and suffering,” according to the Times.

According to the LA Times, video and still images taken by witnesses that day show firefighters descending the ladder of a fire truck as they were completely consumed by flames.  Aguirre was reportedly the last firefighter to leave the building

According to the LA Times, video and still images taken by witnesses that day show firefighters descending the ladder of a fire truck as they were completely consumed by flames. Aguirre was reportedly the last firefighter to leave the building

Aguirre accused the three parties of

Aguirre accused the three parties of “dangerous activity, premise liability and negligence,” according to the Los Angeles Times

Attorney Patrick Gunning wrote in the complaint that Lee and entrepreneurs Raheel Lakhany and Shafaq Sattar are

Attorney Patrick Gunning wrote in the complaint that Lee and entrepreneurs Raheel Lakhany and Shafaq Sattar are “guilty for the horrific injuries sustained by Mr Aguirre and the other 11 firefighters”

The explosion was caused by an excess of nitrous oxide and butane containers in the two stores, the Los Angeles Police Department and the ATF determined — the Los Angeles Fire Department hadn't inspected the building in a year.

The explosion was caused by an excess of nitrous oxide and butane containers in the two stores, the Los Angeles Police Department and the ATF determined — the Los Angeles Fire Department hadn’t inspected the building in a year.

Fire chief Ralph Terrazas told the Times that a fire inspection would likely have resulted in the removal of some of the materials that caused the explosion.

The shop and property owners have already been charged with more than 300 criminal counts. In a plea deal last November, the building’s owners and proprietor agreed to close their businesses and pay out more than $100,000 to the city.

The parties also had to pay $127,000 to the Los Angeles Fire Department for the costs of their investigation, the Times reported. Criminal charges against Sattar and Lakhany were dropped under the plea agreement; charges against Lee are pending.

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