LAFD firefighter gets ear severed in explosion at homeless encampment fire

A firefighter severed an ear and 10 other crew members suffered minor injuries after an explosion occurred during a brush fire in a homeless encampment in the Sepulveda Basin, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire broke out in the 15700 block of West Burbank Boulevard in LA's Encino neighborhood Monday afternoon. 

SkyFOX video from the scene showed the firefighter being treated by his comrades on the ground as they walked him to a nearby helicopter.

LAFD spokesman Erik Scott told City News Service that the firefighter was flown in critical condition to Northridge Hospital Medical Center. The firefighter who had their ear severed has since had their ear re-attached and is now out of the hospital.

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Photo courtesy SkyFOX

Crews on the scene halted the spread of the brush fire within about 30 minutes. The 10 other firefighters hurt in the explosion are expected to be OK.

It's unclear what caused the explosion. 

"Initially we thought it might have been a propane tank," LAPD Deputy Chief Ruby Flores said, adding that investigators found no evidence of a propane tank.

On Tuesday, the bomb squad personnel continued their efforts, which included "rendering safe" suspicious devices.

This fire is being investigated as a suspected arson case, officials said.