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Burbank tobacco wholesaler goes up in smoke

Firefighters in Burbank took more than three hours Friday morning to knock down a spectacular fire that destroyed a wholesale cigarette and tobacco business.

The three-alarm fire at Wholesale Giant Inc., at 4410 W. Victory Blvd., was reported at 3:30 a.m. Firefighters from Los Angeles and Pasadena were called to assist the Burbank Fire Department.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation, and police detectives and arson investigators were on scene, said a spokesman for the Burbank Police Department.

Firefighters were forced to abandon the interior of the burning market when flames extended into the attic and the roof collapsed. There were reports that carbon dioxide tanks in the shop exploded at one point and butane cigarette lighters began exploding after that.

After the roof collapse, firefighters assumed positions on nearby stores' rooftops to prevent the fire's spread, said Burbank Fire Capt. Peter Hendrickson.

There was no immediate estimate of the cost of the building and its contents. Victory Boulevard was closed during the fire and its aftermath.

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Photo: Burbank firefighters spray down hot spots after a three-alarm blaze leveled a tobacco wholesaler in Burbank. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

 
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