EL MONTE (CBSLA) – A two-alarm fire tore through an abandoned former car dealership in El Monte Tuesday morning.


The fire was reported at 6:30 a.m. at a single-story commercial structure in the 3300 block of North Santa Anita Avenue.

Los Angeles County Fire Department crews responded to find the building well-involved in flames, Inspector David Michael reporters. Due to the intensity of the blaze, firefighters were unable to enter the building and were forced to take a defensive approach.

“We did have a collapse on three of the walls on the building,” Michael said.

The fire was knocked down by about 7:30 a.m. There were no reported injuries. It is unclear if anyone was in the building at the time the fire occurred, Michael said.

According to Michael, two hours prior to the commercial fire, at about 4:30 a.m., LACFD crews had responded to a warming fire nearby. Firefighters quickly knocked down that blaze, but found no one in the area.

It’s unclear if the two fires are connected, Michael said. Arson investigators are waiting for excavators to come and knock down the walls so that it will be safe for them to enter and begin their investigation.

“We are waiting for excavators,” Michael said. “Right now it’s unsafe to enter the building and do a search.”

The building where the fire broke out was a former car dealership which has been vacant for some time, Michael disclosed.

Santa Anita Avenue was shut down in both directions.