Weaker Winds Help Crews Douse 3-Story-High Fire Near LA Businesses

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Hundreds of firefighters worked early Friday to douse a structure fire that threatened two businesses in El Sereno — a knockdown officials said could have taken a lot bigger toll if the weather hadn’t cooperated.

The non-injury fire started around 1:30 a.m. and destroyed several pieces of heavy equipment at a commercial property at 5339 E. Valley Blvd., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Matt Spence.

The flames, three-story high at times, burned semi-trucks, rear-end loaders and truck-repair equipment, according to camera crews at the scene.

Spence said 180 firefighters knocked down the fire in just under two hours.

The damage could have been a lot more substantial if winds that had been pummeling cities throughout the Southland had picked up again, one official said.

“If we had to do this yesterday, we probably would have had a much different outcome, a negative outcome because of the winds,” said Assistant Fire Chief Darryl Arbethnot.

Most of the property damage was exterior wood that was burned, with one nearby business slightly damaged, according to the LAFD.

At least two westbound lanes of Valley Boulevard are closed Friday morning as arson units investigate the cause of the blaze.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


More From CBS Los Angeles

Introducing Your New Podcast Network
CBS ALL Access

Listen Live