Los Angeles major storage yard fire damages I-10 freeway

Interstate 10 was damaged in a massive storage yard fire underneath the freeway in Los Angeles on Saturday. Screengrab via Caltrans District 7

By SDCN Editor

Los Angeles, CA—A major structure fire broke out at a storage yard under the Interstate 10 freeway early Saturday morning in Los Angeles, fire officials said.

Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel responded to a reported rubbish fire in the 1700 block of East 14th Street after midnight in downtown LA.

When firefighters arrived on the scene they found a large, 200’ x 200’ storage yard with pallets, trailers, and vehicles engulfed in flames.

Due to the intensity of the blaze, firefighters called for additional resources to help battle the fire.

As firefighters established heavy stream hand lines and ladder pipes, the wind pushed the heat and flames under the freeway and across the street, igniting a second storage yard. The span of the fire, covering nearly eight acres, required a transition to a major emergency incident with 26 fire companies and 164 firefighters assigned.

Over the next several hours, firefighters battled the blaze on multiple fronts. Due to the volume of fire under the freeway, crews had limited access and faced challenges in effectively hitting the fire.

While battling the fire, crews were able to save three different commercial buildings from damage.

While crews worked around downed high-tension wires a cross arm fell on 14th Street, potentially energizing the water flowing in the gutter.

“The large quantity of water being pulled from all the surrounding fire hydrants affected the supply. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power responded and assisted both by increasing pressure to ensure adequate water supply was available and de-energizing the downed power lines,” LAFD spokesperson: Margaret Stewart stated in the department’s news release

Less than three hours into the incident, the bulk of the fire was extinguished. LAFD, LA County Health Hazmat, and CalTrans safely navigated concerns regarding the structural integrity allowing CalTrans engineers to begin a damage assessment of the freeway overpass.

Due to the intense fire conditions, one fire engine sustained damage. There were no reported injuries to firefighters.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshall alongside LAFD Arson.

LAFD will transition control of the incident to CalTrans District 7 for the investigation into the stability of the freeway.

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