Los Angeles Times, Daily Journal, NBC, Fox 11, KCAL, KNX and More Report on LAFD Firefighters Lawsuit After Compressed Natural Gas Truck Explodes in Los Angeles

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, NBC Los Angeles, Fox 11, KCAL, CBS KNX and more, McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of seven LAFD firefighters who were severely injured when a truck powered by Compressed Natural Gas unexpectedly exploded in Wilmington. 

According to the lawsuit filed against the trucking company and others, when the firefighters arrived at the scene, they found a semi-truck fully engulfed in flames. Minutes later, the truck exploded, injuring several firefighters, including two critically injured.

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Learn more about the lawsuit below.

-- Seven LAFD firefighters were seriously injured when a truck's compressed natural gas tank unexpectedly exploded while they were responding to the fire engulfing it; complaint alleges issues with design, warning, and manufacturing of the truck and CNG tanks -- 

LOS ANGELES (June 20, 2024) – Plaintiff trial law firm McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP is filing a lawsuit on behalf of seven Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) firefighters who were seriously injured when a truck powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) unexpectedly exploded while they were responding to the fire engulfing it. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants (the makers of the compressed natural gas tank and fuel system) negligently designed, manufactured and sold a defective CNG fuel system. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants did not provide an adequate written warning on the truck that it contained CNG tanks, nor did the truck driver alert 911 operators that the truck was fueled by CNG.

“It is unacceptably dangerous that a truck running on compressed natural gas can fail like this, exploding in the middle of a city street like a bomb as opposed to releasing pressure safely,” said lead counsel Matthew McNicholas of McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP. “This would not have occurred had the product not had hidden defects preventing the safe release of pressure.”

The explosion, which happened on February 15, 2024, in Wilmington, sent a fireball into the sky that reached suspended power lines and caused an electrical transformer to explode. The Plaintiffs were blasted from the shockwave so forcefully that they suffered severe injuries, including burns. In total, nine firefighters were hospitalized, with two firefighters having been in critical condition before their ultimate release.

Case Background

On the morning of February 15, 2024, a group of LAFD firefighters from two separate stations responded to the 1100 block of North Alameda Street in the Wilmington area of Los Angeles for a reported motor vehicle fire. The report included no indication that the fire involved anything other than a standard gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle.

Immediately upon arrival, the LAFD crew members began their standard procedures to extinguish the vehicle fire, and within six minutes the fire was nearly knocked down (i.e., extinguished). The fire presented as an ordinary vehicle fire; however, unbeknownst to the Plaintiffs, the vehicle was a CNG-powered truck and contained two, 100-gallon CNG tanks. There was no visible warning for the fire fighters to see that they were dealing with CNG tanks.

Without warning, one of the CNG tanks exploded, propelling debris and blasting the Plaintiffs backward with significant force.  The Plaintiffs suffered serious injuries, including burns, that will cut careers short. In total, nine LAFD firefighters were injured, including two who were in critical condition before they were able to recover and be released.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendant-manufacturers negligently designed, manufactured, and sold a defective CNG-powered truck. The complaint names Hexagon Agility, Inc.; Agility Fuel Solutions, LLC; Agility Fuel Systems, LLC; Daimler Truck North America; Heavy Load Transfer, LLC; Total Transportation Services, Inc.; Premium Transportation Services, Inc.; and Shania Janea Sutton as defendants.  The trucking company that operated the vehicle at issue is being sued under allegations they negligently maintained and operated the truck, including the driver's failure to alert 911 operators she was driving a CNG powered truck.


McNicholas & McNicholas, a Los Angeles-based plaintiff-trial law firm, represents clients in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, employment law, class actions, sexual abuse, and other consumer-oriented matters such as civil rights, aviation disasters, and product liability. Founded by a family of attorneys spanning three generations, McNicholas & McNicholas has been trying cases to jury verdicts on behalf of its clients for more than five decades.

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