Hazmat Team Works to Clean Up Chemicals After ‘Major Emergency’ Blaze at Commercial Structure in Hollywood

Crews were cleaning up after a massive fire that broke out at a single-story commercial structure in Hollywood containing chemicals, authorities said.

A fire in Hollywood generated a plume of smoke that was visible from the 10 Freeway on Sunday, July 13, 2014.

A fire in Hollywood generated a plume of smoke that was visible from the 101 Freeway on Sunday, July 13, 2014. (Credit: Liberté Chan/KTLA)

The blaze broke out shortly before 9 a.m. in the 1000 block of North Orange Drive (map), about two blocks south of Santa Monica Boulevard and more than 130 firefighters responded, said Katherine Main, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The burning building housed the Highland Plating Co., according to the business’s website.

After a section of the roof collapsed, firefighters transitioned to a defensive operation before making progress against the “stubborn” flames, Main said.

It took about two hours for firefighters to extinguish the flames, in part because of the chemicals involved, according to LAFD Battalion Chief David Felinger.

The fire was still smoldering early Sunday evening.

Flames could be seen shooting out of the roof of a single-story commercial structure in Hollywood on July 13, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Flames could be seen shooting out of the roof of a single-story commercial structure in Hollywood on July 13, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

“Right now we have a couple concerns,” Felinger said. “One is we obviously have a little bit of smoldering fire which we’re going to get…taken care of right now in just a few minutes. The other is of course the Hazmat component of trying to get the chemicals out of the building.”

He added that the department was working with agencies in the city and county to clean the area up.

A hazmat team was monitoring water runoff and diking storm drains, Mann initially said, and the runoff was deemed to be “neutral.”

The fire generated a plume of thick black smoke that was visible for miles. Viewers in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and on the 101 Freeway tweeted images of the cloud as it rose high into the air.

“We can smell the chemicals in that fire all the way up in the Hollywood Hills, near Los Feliz,” said one witness on Twitter.

The metal-finishing company employed 110 employees at the 33,000-square foot plant on Orange Drive, and was “one of the nation’s largest anodizing and plating facilities,” its website said.

The cause of the incident was not immediately known.

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