VIEWPOINT: Explosion and Burn Was Preventable

An explosion took place in the lower picnic area at the Recreation center on June 16. Neighbors were lucky there were no winds, or the trees and neighboring homes would have been under fire threat.

The anguish of the family, and the pain a 14-year-old is suffering, is inexcusable and could have been prevented.

Circling the News reported on a kid who was burned in an apparent fireworks accident in the lower picnic area on June 16 around 10:15 p.m. He has had to undergo two surgeries at the Grossman Burn Unit.

Although there are videos of fireworks from the park, this explosion, which this editor attributed to illegal fireworks, may instead have been caused by throwing aerosol cans, such as spray paint or WD-40 cans thrown into flames.

A big explosion results when a can is thrown in flames, and the metal shrapnel from those aerosols can do serious damage to anyone standing close by.

Those accidents are recorded, and rife on the Internet and on YouTube.

This can was found at the park. On the Krylon website it notes that “Extremely flammable aerosol. . . .Bursting aerosol containers may be propelled from a fire at high speed.”

One firefighter wrote about the kind of explosion an aerosol can cause: “Bad enough that you don’t want to experiment with them at home. . . I’d say that you could blow out every window in a fair-sized room with the blast wave and cause some significant lacerations if you were close enough.”

Another person wrote: “Depending on the aerosol can (hair spray, WD-40, etc.) it can be pretty dangerous. Now I have to say if you are thinking about doing this don’t. I have seen pictures of people’s fingers blown off.”

Another wrote about aerosol explosions, “They can cause really bad burns if you’re too close to them. Shrapnel can also be a lethal factor.”

A research lab specialist at the University of Maine wrote: “There were some college kids that threw an empty beer keg on fire on a beach (drunken party), it blew up and kill several of them. Be content to watch foolish people do things on YouTube and not endanger yourself.”

CTN reported on a burned-out trash can fire in the park four months ago after an explosion.

A local resident asked LAFD, in addition to LAPD, to investigate, and also to warn parents.

“There should have been PSA’s issued throughout the community as to what activities the teens are engaging in,” the resident wrote. “I think parents have no idea what is going on. I am sickened to think this [the June 16 accident] could have been prevented. LAFD would not come out and take a look at the exploded trashcan, four months ago.”

Because a kid was seriously injured in the park and lucky to be alive, one might think this would be a topic at the June 22 Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting.

Explosions like those documented in the park, especially within feet of Eucalyptus trees (very flammable), would seem like it should be a source of concern for fire safety for the PPCC.

No, the bad accident, which could have been fatal, and the possibility of fire to nearby trees and homes never came up. After Councilmember Traci Park spoke, there were more important PPCC topics, such as the low-resolution version of the new logo on sign that wouldn’t work when the group marches in the 4th of July parade. Fundraising was discussed so there would be money for public relations campaigns.

After the June 16 accident, it would seem that perhaps the Palisades Park Advisory Board would want to hold a special meeting and address the illegal activities in the park. No. The group’s next meeting will be in July.

CTN talked with park staff, who do call the police when they see illegal activities. They do report the problems, but that office closes at 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be the sanctimonious who just say kids should follow the rules and not be in the park once it’s closed. That kids need to follow the rules.

Or do kids emulate adults who also don’t follow park rules?

The pickleball players were told they aren’t supposed to use courts #7 and #8 because of noise issues. Players have been told the person running the program is not an L.A. Recreation and Parks approved concessionaire. Players ignore those rules.

Courts seven and eight at the recreation center have had between 50 and 60 people on the court playing pickleball.

There are people who let the dogs run off the leash on the upper lawn and in George Wolfberg Park. Dogs on leash are required in parks.

Allowing dogs to run off-leash on streets and in parks is against the law.

There are the bocce players, who can’t make it through a game without alcohol. After the twilight league finishes, the trashcans are full of “red cups,” which hold wine and other beverages, and beer cans and bottles. Just a reminder that alcohol is illegal in parks.

And the parents of baseball players . . .at the playoffs the amount of alcohol in the bleacher by each diamond was enough to open a BevMo store. A Palisades adult can’t go two hours without booze?

Kids learn from adults and even though the kids are only seven, they’re watching adults drink during their games, which means they learn alcohol in the park is okay.

Our kids have learned what we teach them. Here’s what we’ve taught them: there are rules in the park, but no one has to follow them.

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7 Responses to VIEWPOINT: Explosion and Burn Was Preventable

  1. Diane Bleak says:

    I’m very sorry about the 14 year old burn victim. So senseless
    And avoidable. Btw- went to Cumbre Flamenca, it was fabulous.
    Amazing show, Thx for the article and Sharing the information.
    I hope the 14 year old makes a full recovery.

  2. Peggy Yaspan Shapiro says:

    good article

  3. Susan Kanowith-Klein says:

    Sue, Thank you for this piece. There are also people who bring their dogs to the Palisades Sunday farmers market, despite the many signs stating that dogs are not allowed in the market unless they are service dogs. Perhaps Palisadians have more service dogs than in other communities.

  4. BT says:

    But, but, but rules and laws don’t need to be followed here… these are the entitled Palisadians

  5. Margot says:

    Once again, you are spot-on. Kids learn from adults. If adults don’t follow rules, why should the kids? And throwing aerosol cans into a fire? This poses an extremely serious risk, not just to the kids standing there, but the whole community. Sad that even community organizations are not prioritizing this.

  6. Kathleen Jensen says:

    At the 6/22 PPCC meeting, Traci Park took a questions. When asked about dog park approval, she said “good news” will be announced soon. Maybe having a dog park will solve the off-leash dog issue at the Rec Center. However, alcohol seems to occur at most outdoor park events. Sunday at a Steely Dan tribute band concert at Warner Park, announcements were made that alcohol& smoking aren’t allowed. Some weren’t doing a good job at hiding their cans/bottles & I noticed a few old guys smoking weed across the street before returning to the park. Adults will find a way to imbibe.

  7. 'joy' says:

    The saying, ‘Give me the child and I’ll show you the man.’ really fits. Kids do what they see at home. When they’re young and see that rules don’t apply to their adults, that’s the behavior they will follow as pre-teens, teens and when THEY are adults. The word I hear most often describing the impression many people have of our neighbors is ‘entitled.’ That breaks down to, ‘I’m different so I don’t have to think of others nor do I have to abide by any rules I don’t like.’ Sadly, there are too many examples of that attitude to dispute that negative impression. I love living here and have many wonderful neighbors. It’s a shame that a few ‘entitled’ folks once again interfere with our lovely town’s safety, our peace of mind and the protection of our property.

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