250 Firefighters Battle Massive Blaze at Apartment Complex in Los Angeles

Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

More than 250 firefighters battled a massive building fire near downtown Los Angeles overnight on Sunday. The blaze in an unoccupied multi-story building threatened to created a nightmarish commute for drivers on Monday morning.

The fire began around 1:20 a.m on Sunday night and there are so far no reports of injuries. The seven-story apartment complex that was under construction was engulfed in flames that could be seen for miles.

Firefighters were on the scene almost immediately after the fire began, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz. But by that time, the fire had already moved quickly through the structure because it was under construction.

“It was the perfect storm, if you will, for fire spread,” Ortiz said in a phone interview. “There were no dividing firewalls between the different components of it.”

“So we had five stories of a wood frame without any type of fire protection,” he added, noting that the two lower floors of the complex were made of concrete and are still standing.

“This is a historic fire, what we as firefighters would call ‘a career fire,’” said Ortiz told NBC News. “It’s huge. I really can’t remember a building fire this big and I have been with the department for 13 years.”

The building, planned as a luxury apartment complex, was adjacent to the 110 Freeway at the intersection of Temple St. and Fremont Ave. Firefighters used the freeway as a staging ground as they worked to battle the blaze, closing it in both directions at one point in the night.

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SOURCE: Abby Phillip 
The Washington Post

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