Firefighters Battle Blaze at Commercial Building in Downtown L.A.; Arson Investigators Dispatched

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Firefighters were battling a blaze at a commercial building in downtown Los Angeles Thursday evening before arson investigators were sent to the scene, fire officials said.

Heavy fire was visible at the building located along the 1400 block of South Long Beach Avenue just after 5:30 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. An hour and half later, firefighters were still struggling to put out some flames, officials said.

More than 140 firefighters were dispatched to the scene and worked to make sure the fire didn’t spread to other surrounding structures, the Fire Department said in an alert.

No injuries were reported by fire officials.

Wires were down, creating electrical hazards, so officials with the L.A. Department of Water and Power were also sent to the scene, according to the Fire Department.  Arson investigators were also expected to arrive, but officials did not release details about why they were dispatched.

As they worked to extinguish flames coming through the roof the building, firefighters went into “defensive mode” as they prepared to deploy heavy streams, fire officials said.

Sky5 video of the scene showed heavy plumes of smoke rising from the building and flames visible in some areas underneath them, particularly toward the center of the structure.

Firefighters could be seen hosing down the middle area, where flames could still be seen rising through the smoke by 6:30 p.m.

Aerial footage closer to the ground showed sparks flying around as a firefighter stood against the building, appearing to hold up something.

At 6:48 p.m., a Fire Department alert said “good progress” had been made in putting out the fire but flames still remained in areas that were harder to reach with the water streams.

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