LA
08/23/2011 12:25 pm ET Updated Oct 24, 2011

Car Explosion In Los Angeles

On Friday, August 19th, a Los Angeles firefighter was working to extinguish a car explosion when a secondary explosion struck him directly in the face. Fire Rescue 1 notes that the blast occurred shortly after "the firefighter appears to use a hose line to put water on the front and midsection of the car's interior." The firefighter was wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and, from what the video indicates, was able to continue unharmed.

One YouTube commenter speculates, "it appears as though it's a classic Magnesium explosion most likely in the dash brackets or in the area of the transmission." Magnesium, a refractory material, maintains its strength at high temperatures. Water does not extinguish a magnesium fire, but instead can aggravate it, according to Electronic Space Products International (ESPI).

Using water on a magnesium fire produces hydrogen gas, which will most likely cause an explosion, notes ESPI. Firefighters are trained to handle Magnesium explosions carefully and with the use of a SCBA, as seen in the video.

The owner of the vehicle is "doing alright" and wasn't injured in the event, says his granddaughter, commenting on the YouTube video.