An apartment building under construction in downtown Los Angeles erupted into flames on December 8th, forcing the closure of parts of two major freeways nearby. About 240 firefighters battled the fire, which began about 4:20 a.m. ET, according to the city’s fire department. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, reported abcnews.go.com.
Officials were unsure if anyone was inside the Westlake apartment that was under renovation when fire broke out. One person in the area was treated for smoke inhalation, but was not transported to a hospital. The building covered about 1.3-million square feet of floor space, and the fire caused significant exposure to two adjacent buildings, announced ktla.com.
“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, announcednbcnews.com.
Flames could be seen for miles from the fire that broke out in the DaVinci apartment complex about 1:20 a.m. The blaze closed roads and freeways, including the 110 North, which won’t open until at least 10 a.m., officials said, reported latimes.com.
The fire would cause millions of dollars do to the building construction that is now burned and all of the materials with it, announced ktla5.com.