No firefighters injured in blaze at Echo Park commercial building
Five Los Angeles firefighters initially reported as injured while battling a blaze late Tuesday at a commercial building in Echo Park next to the Hollywood Freeway were later found to be in good health and returned to fight the flames, according to a Fire Department report.
No civilians were injured in the fire, the department said.
The fire at the building at 1625 Palo Alto St., which houses a printing business and a business-cleaning company, among others, erupted about 10 p.m., according to the Fire Department report.
It took 125 firefighters almost two hours to extinguish the flames, which could be seen shooting from the roof of the building alongside the 101 Freeway, snarling traffic.
The cause of the blaze was still being investigated early Wednesday, officials said. Witnesses told authorities that the fire began in vegetation outside the building but swiftly moved inside through the windows.
Firefighters staged an aggressive attack, but had to shift to a defensive posture when the flames swept across the attic and moved into the second floor, compromising the structure, Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
Firefighters poured thousands of gallons of water per minute into the building, he said.
"These firefighters didn't come to work today; they came to war," Humphrey said, as the firefight was underway: "This building, sadly, will be a total loss."
-- Sam Quinones
Photo: Los Angeles firefighters battle flames consuming a commercial building in Echo Park. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times