SUN VALLEY (KTLA) — A blown transformer may be to blame for a rapidly spreading fire that destroyed a building housing a famous water fountain design firm in Sun Valley Saturday morning.
According to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz, the fire was first reported around 3:18 a.m. at the WET Design building in the 10800 block of Sherman Way.
Firefighters arrived at the scene to find the single-story, 15,000 square foot building fully up in smoke.
Over 100 firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze after nearly an hour and a half.
The building serves as the headquarters for WET Design, which has created some of the most famous water fountains in the world, including the fountains at the Grove and Universal CityWalk, the dancing fountain at the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas and the largest fountain in the world in Dubai.
Witnesses told KTLA that the fire may have been caused by a car that crashed into a power transformer, sending live wires into the building.
“Neighbors who saw it said a car came by careening down the street and hit one of these power poles and knocked the transformer off and it exploded,” WET Design CEO and President Mark Fuller said.
“It was an extremely loud explosion,” said Charles Brown, who lives nearby and was among those who called 911 when they saw the flames. Other witnesses said they could see, and smell the fire for miles.
According to Fuller, the company’s former headquarters at Universal Studios also succumbed to a fire over a decade ago, causing them to move to their current location across the street from Bob Hope Airport.
“My first reaction,” Fuller said, “was thank goodness nobody was in there and nobody was hurt.”
No injuries were reported.