LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Firefighters moppped up a second-alarm fire in a Long Beach building that set off the fire alarms in the neighboring apartments.

The fire broke out at 1101 Long Beach Blvd. after 2 a.m. Neighbors said they saw flames shooting up 20 feet, forcing the first crew on the scene called for backup, upgrading the incident to a second-alarm fire.

The abandoned building has two vacant storefronts on the first floor and apartments on the second floor under partial demolition, so no one was inside at the time. But the condition of the building made it a challenge for firefighters.

“It’s a building that’s under partial demolition,” Long Beach Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Ohs said. “There were holes in the floor, part of the roof was gone, there were portions of it that were already collapsed, along with some other internal mechanisms.”

The smoke from the intense flames set off the smoke alarms at the apartments next door, and those neighbors self-evacuated.

Neighbors say squatters are known to hang out in the building, but it’s not clear how the fire started. Firefighters will remain on the scene to investigate the fire’s source.

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