Saturday, November 11, 2023 5:19PM
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Firefighters from 26 companies worked Saturday morning to contain and extinguish a major emergency fire that started in one downtown storage yard, spread to another, prompting the closure of the 10 Freeway in both directions.
The fire was first reported at 12:22 a.m. in the 1700 block of East 14th Street, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The first storage yard was 40,000-square-feet and was fully involved with flames that engulfed multiple trailers, the Fire Department said. The flames spread to a storage pallet yard of similar size between Lawrence and Elwood streets, and consumed a fire engine that became stuck in their path. Several civilian vehicles were also destroyed by the inferno.
“Firefighters have successfully defended three exposed commercial buildings from fire extension,” the LAFD said in a statement.
At 2:33 a.m., pallets in both yards were mostly consumed by the flames and firefighters would use bulldozers to move debris and put out hot spots.
The Department of Water and Power assisted by boosting water pressure in the area for the high volume needed, officials said. The agency also dealt with the cross arm of energized high tension wire that fell on 14th Street
The first storage yard is located under the 10 Freeway. The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert at 1:19 a.m. shutting down the freeway in both eastbound and westbound directions at Alameda Street.
Traffic was backed up for miles in both directions. The CHP was diverting eastbound traffic at Alameda Street and westbound vehicles at Santa Fe Avenue.
Caltrans engineers were on scene to assess damage to the freeway and determine whether it was safe to reopen. Mop up was expected to continue through the morning.
Fire Engine 17 was the first on the scene and became stuck under the freeway overpass, officials said. It burned in the blaze.
The freeway is expected to remain closed at the scene for at least 24 hours.
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