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From the Archives: Fire backdraft

From the Archives: Fire backdraft
Feb. 2, 1973: Los Angeles County firemen duck as flames burst out of door at home on W. Knoll Drive in West Hollywood. (Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times)

The firemen were unhurt in $30,000 blaze. Staff photographer Boris Yaro had prepared for this fire backdraft. Yaro writes:

The history here is the smoke. About 8 months before I had seen the same type of smoke belching out of a window. When I went to make the photo, the cord from my flash unit fell out of the camera. I wasn't able to get a decent picture of the flames and the surroundings.

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This time, recognizing what was happening, I set my camera to make a good exposure with or without flash -- and if the flash went off, great, I'd have fill light.

The fire did what I thought it would, explode out of the doorway. It was helped along by a fireman who broke a window pane allowing more oxygen inside causing the "backdraft" and scattering debris through the air.

Yaro adds that the photo was shot about 10 p.m., and published on page one of the late final street edition of The Los Angeles Times.

This post was originally published on Nov. 24, 2010.

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