Power Vault Explosion Causes Structure Fire in New, High Density Santa Monica Apt. Building
34 Santa Monica Police and Firemen Respond to Structure Fire at Broadway and Lincoln Blvd
May 15, 2017
After an underground electrical vault exploded and burned, 34 Santa Monica Police and firemen put out a structure fire at Broadway and Lincoln Blvd. on Monday night, May 8th. Two injured residents were taken to local hospitals in stable condition
The fire began in the parking garage at the 1447 Lincoln building, managed by Lincoln Property Company . "The situation is static," said Captain Patrick Nulty the Santa Monica Fire Department's Public Information officer. "They experienced an explosion in the electrical vault in the subterranean parking garage, causing a fire in the subterranean area."
"The fire was extinguished in 20 minutes," said Nulty. "All 34 firefighters then on duty at Santa Monica Fire Stations responded, as did 10 firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department."
"At this time, the building has no parking because the garage has been evacuated. None of the units were directly affected by the fire. But the building is evacuated at this time, and there are no reported injuries." Nulty said.
"Occupants are evacuated for an unknown amount of time. Our investigators are working to determine a cause," Nulty said. We interviewed Captain Nulty at 8:35 pm PST.
On Tuesday morning, all the stores on the ground level of the building were closed--including Starbucks, Jersey Mike's and Chase Bank.
1447 is one of about 11 large high density apartment buildings, constructed by NMS properties in Santa Monica in the last 10 years. An anonymous comment: "There are two other errors in the power vault explosion article: NMS has developed 11 not 20 high density apartment buildings; construction was not done by NMS but by an independent general contractor The photo caption references NMS property it is a Lincoln property."
Update: The SMFD issued the following press release on Tuesday May 9th at 5:30 pm:
On Monday May 8th, 2017 at 6:14 p.m. the Santa Monica Fire Department responded to 1447 Lincoln Blvd. for an activated fire alarm. Initial arriving firefighters found smoke in the subterranean parking area, and during their investigation an explosion and fire occurred in the electrical vault room.
45 Firefighters from the Santa Monica Fire Department and Los Angeles Fire Department worked to confine and extinguish the fire in 34 minutes. The building is a 5 story mixed use apartment building and was occupied and in normal use at the time of the fire, including the five businesses on the ground floor. Smoke throughout the building and the loss of power required the complete search and evacuation of all 94 apartment units. Approximately 120 residents were assisted out of the building, thanks to the assistance of Santa Monica Police Officers, Red Cross, and the Big Blue Bus. 19 residence required hotel accommodations overnight, which was provided by Lincoln Property Company.
There were 2 residents that were injured during the evacuation who were treated by SMFD Paramedics and taken to a local hospital in stable condition. No injuries to responders reported. The cause of the explosion and fire was unknown, however no suspicious circumstances were found.--Captain Patrick Nulty.