250 Firefighters Battle Blaze at LA Apartment Complex
Hundreds of firefighters battled to contain a huge fire at an under-construction apartment complex in downtown Los Angeles early Monday.
"This is a historic fire, what we as firefighters would call 'a career fire,'" said David Ortiz, public information officer at the Los Angeles Fire Department. "It's huge. I really can't remember a building fire this big and I have been with the department for 13 years."
Ortiz said it was too early to tell what caused the fire but said the seven-story building looked certain to be "completely lost." Fueled by the half-finished building's exposed wooden framework, radiant heat caused fire damage in twin high-rise buildings across the street in Figueroa Plaza, Ortiz said. Those were quickly extinguished, but the LAFD urged people to stay away from the buildings because panes of glass had fallen onto the street below.
Fire Department spokesman Jaime Moore told The Times the office tower sustained fire and sprinkler water damage.
"Large windows gave under the amount of heat," Moore said, adding that sprinklers activated on six of its floors. "There was active fire on three floors."
Moore said firefighters managed to get inside both buildings and prevent the fires from spreading.
Video from KTLA showed that heat from the fire burned freeway directional signs and melted the plastic traffic bumps embedded into the roadway.
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