By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Over 140 firefighters battled a massive blaze which engulfed a commercial building in the Central-Alameda area of South Los Angeles early Tuesday morning.

March 2, 2021. (CBSLA)

The fire was reported at 3:40 a.m. at a one-story, 21,000-square-foot commercial building in the 2700 block of South Long Beach Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

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Video from the scene showed heavy flames and smoke shooting from the building.

Dozens of firefighters fought the fire using large hose lines and ladders. They were forced to take a cautious position in case the building collapses, the fire department said.

“We call that a defensive battle or defensive operations, you see when those aerial ladders we call the streams coming off of that a ladder pipe,” LAFD PIO Erik Scott told CBSLA by phone. “We do not put firefighters in the building because the amount of force that comes from that amount of water. And we only set those up when it is this kind of case. Where it’s just too dangerous for firefighters to be inside, there’s so much heat, there’s so much chance for that collapse.”

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The blaze was knocked down in 48 minutes. However, there were still several hot spots in the debris, LAFD said.

Crews would remain on scene for several hours mopping and removing the debris.

Metro reported that there was no Blue Line train service between the Vernon and Washington stations due to the firefight.

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There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.