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Los Angeles Fire Department: Massive fire breaks out at vacant art space

Los Angeles Fire Department: Massive fire breaks out at vacant art space

Huge fire burns at boarded-up downtown L.A. building with ‘potential for collapse’

A massive fire broke out early Saturday morning at a vacant, boarded-up downtown art space that neighbors say could collapse.

Crews from multiple agencies had to use heavy equipment to battle the blaze, which had been dubbed “a potential disaster” by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

At dawn, crews had put out the fire without any structural damage and no injuries reported. The fire did leave behind scorched buildings and walls, and blackened exterior walls of the building at 22 West Sixth Street.

“This scene looks like a bomb went off,” said John Lee, a spokesman for the LAFD. “It’s a really unusual scene, but all in all it’s going to be OK.”

Fire officials also said there was no danger to the fire department’s equipment or stationhouse.

Firefighters say they’re keeping their doors locked because the building’s roof is partially collapsed, and they won’t answer the phone unless it’s a critical emergency.

“This is a very scary scene. But this is something that we need to deal with and that’s why we’re here,” said LAFD Battalion Chief Mike Lopez.

Lopez said the building had been vacant for years and has asbestos in the structure. He says the fire also started without warning in the early morning hours, and they needed to get inside to fight it.

“I’m pretty sure that there is a history of asbestos in the building and it started to burn and that’s when we had to get in,” Lopez said.

Several neighbors said they had first noticed the fire at around 5:30am on Saturday.

Kendie O’Kelly lives near the building and said she was awakened by the sounds of the fire.


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