Site of Explosive Paramount Blaze Investigated as Possible Drug Operation: Fire Officials

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The site of a large fire that sparked explosions and sent flames and black smoke shooting into the air in Paramount Monday morning is being investigated as a possible drug operation, officials said.
Firefighters battle a massive blaze at a commercial building in Paramount on Aug. 19, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)
Firefighters battle a massive blaze at a commercial building in Paramount on Aug. 19, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)
The fire was reported at a commercial building about 10:40 a.m. along the 7300 block of East Somerset Street and firefighters were on scene within a minute, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Flames and black smoke were billowing out of the roof of the large building, aerial video from Sky5 showed. The flames quickly spread through the roof and building as three explosions were seen from above. Several firefighters were battling the blaze from the ground and from the rooftop of another building in the area. The flames came dangerously close to homes in the vicinity, but no other buildings were damaged during the fire. By 11:15 a.m., the smoke had dissipated, but spread through a large swath of the area, aerial video showed. Flames could still be seen through the collapsed roof about 11:25 a.m.
Firefighters battle a massive blaze at a commercial fire in Paramount on Aug. 19, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)
Firefighters battle a massive blaze at a commercial fire in Paramount on Aug. 19, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)
Officials said the fire was knocked down about 12:45 p.m. and was confined to the building. No injuries were reported during the blaze. Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda said the explosions could have been caused by some sort of organic compound or vapor. Firefighters were working to get inside the building after the fire was knocked down, but it was too hot. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators are assisting the Fire Department’s arson unit to determine an official cause.

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