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LAFD Battles Downtown L.A. Building Fire

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Los Angeles firefighters are working on extinguishing a large blaze after a downtown Los Angeles commercial building caught fire Sunday night.

Over 190 firefighters were called the scene of "major emergency structure fire" at 1253 E. 8th St. around 6:30 p.m. By around 9 p.m., the fire appeared to be winding down and crews were addressing hot spots within the building.

Firefighters initially worked to extinguish the blaze on the roof before transitioning to a defensive operation and leaving the rooftop, fire officials said.

The building contains large, bulky stored goods and red chili peppers that are creating an additional irritant, according to the LAFD.

"There's probably 15 or 20 different individual occupancy roll-up doors," said Deputy Chief Daren Palacios with the Los Angeles Fire Department. "They have everything from produce to baled goods to cotton -- different ones have different product inside, which has made the fire very stubborn because they're very full of storage."

Eight to 10 units of the concrete commercial building are fully involved with the fire, according to the LAFD. No injuries have been reported.

"It was intense. I started feeling the heat. I started feeling the smoke so I covered my eyes," said Edwardo Flores, a witness to the flames. "It started coming more this way and that's when I started coughing, started feeling the smoke. It started getting out of hand."

The Urban Search and Rescue task force assessed the building and did not see any signs of structural compromise, fire officials said.

South Central Avenue is closed in both directions from East Eighth Street to East Olympic Boulevard.

The cause of the fire is unknown, arson investigators said.