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North Hollywood truck blast tied to cellphone and man huffing propane

October 23, 2013|By Joseph Serna

The mystery of the exploding North Hollywood truck has been solved, police say.

It was sparked when a man, trying to get high, plugged in his cellphone charger while huffing propane inside the cab. This, police say, is according to the man himself.

According to police, on Tuesday night a man with a burned scalp and face walked into the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood substation and explained what sparked an explosion earlier that morning in the 11300 block of Miranda Street. The explosion blew open the truck's roof, shattered windows and startled neighbors.

The man told police he was trying to get high on propane while also trying to charge his cellphone – a multitasking no-no, according to firefighters.

The man apparently put his cellphone charger into the truck’s auxiliary outlet, creating a spark that ignited the truck cab full of flammable gas.

“This guy is the luckiest guy in the world. You can’t make this stuff up,” said police Sgt. Glenn McNeil, who said officers told him about the story Wednesday morning.

The man wandered out of the truck before firefighters and police arrived, McNeil said, then “passed out on a lawn somewhere.”

The man had relatives at the home and was not arrested. A call to numbers listed for the residence were not immediately returned Wednesday.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Capt. Jaime Moore said he hadn’t heard of the cause of the explosion, but that the man’s story was definitely possible.

“You got fuel, the right quantity of oxygen and an ignition source,” Moore said. “Propane is a dangerous gas.”

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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