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Fire at Huntington Park food-processing plant nearly out

May 9, 2011 | 11:53 am

Fire at Huntington Park food-processing plant nearly out

Firefighters were extinguishing the final embers from an early morning blaze Monday that consumed a food-processing plant in Huntington Park.

The commercial fire at Windsor Foods in the 6700 block of South Alameda Street was tricky to fight because more than 4,000 gallons of highly flammable soybean oil were fueling the flames, said Matt Levesque, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Workers at the plant fill large fryers with the oil every morning, and when the fire broke out about 5:30 a.m. the oil acted as an accelerant, he said. 

White smoke still rose from the building's destroyed roof at 11 a.m. as firefighters continued to stream water over the smoldering mess. 

"We're making progress,'' said Levesque, who was on the scene. "It's been a challenging fire."

At the fire's height, more than 150 firefighters battled the blaze. About a third of them remained for the mop up, Levesque said.

An employee who fled the building was taken to a hospital with elbow pain, he said. One firefighter suffered a hand laceration but returned to work after receiving treatment.

The fire's cause was under investigation.


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-- Catherine Saillant

Photo: About 150 firefighters were battling an early morning commercial fire Monday at a Huntington Park food-processing plant that was throwing up flames and a column of smoke visible for miles. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times