DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency in Los Angeles County Saturday night to help facilitate cleanup and repairs after a pallet fire shut down portion 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. It would eventually go on to burn 8 acres – the equivalent of six football fields.
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 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. No injuries were reported.
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 a cross arm of energized high-tension wire that fell on 14th 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.
By 2:30 a.m., pallets in both yards were mostly consumed by the flames, and firefighters used bulldozers to move debris and put out hot spots.
Daybreak revealed twisted guardrails and blackened, chipped concrete at the freeway overpass, located in the heart of an industrial area.
Caltrans engineers were on scene to assess damage to the freeway and determine whether it was safe to reopen.
Update Structure Fire; INC#0031; 01:46AM; 1745 E 14th St; https://bit.ly/3udjCbS; Downtown; 26 fire companies, including one helicopter, assigned to this incident. The fire is fully involving two separate pallet yards, each approximately 200′ x 200′ in size. The first pallet yard is under the 10 Freeway which is now closed in both directions. There are multiple commercial buildings exposed but there does not yet appear to be any extension inside. The fire load in the first pallet yard is starting to dwindle and firefighters are holding the 2nd pallet yard fire in check while also defending the exposed buildings. LADWP is assisting with boosting the water pressure in the area to compensate for the high volume needed. CalTrans is enroute to assess any possible damage to the 10 Freeway. Drivers are advised to seek alternate routes and follow CHP https://cad.chp.ca.gov/Traffic.aspx for traffic updates. This will be an extended duration operation lasting through the morning. LAFD PIO Firefighter David Ortiz is enroute for media availability.; FS 17; Batt 1; Central Bureau; Council District 14; AR1 BC1 BC11 BC13 BC5 CM20 CM22 E10 E11 E12 E14 E17 E2 E201 E202 E203 E209 E21 E210 E211 E215 E220 E221 E233 E235 E25 E260 E29 E3 E35 E4 E9 EA1 EM1 HE1 HR3 PI4 RA14 RA17 RA3 RS3 SQ21 T1 T10 T11 T15 T2 T20 T21 T3 T33 T35 T60 T9 UR3 UR88; CH9; 12 13; Margaret Stewart