Fire Damages Nearly Century-Old Commercial Building in Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles Fire Department

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A greater-alarm fire damaged a single-story commercial building in downtown Los Angeles today, but no one was hurt.

The fire was reported about 8:45 a.m. in the 700 block of South Ceres Avenue, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

More than 90 firefighters were sent to the scene, and they extinguished the flames in 40 minutes, Stewart said.

``This is a well-developed fire and the incident is now transitioning to a defensive operation,'' Stewart said in a statement shortly after 9 a.m.

``All firefighters are exiting the structure and coming down off the roof. LAFD Hazardous Materials Squad is evaluating a possible oxygen tank exposed to the fire.''

Fire crews then poured water on the fire from outside the building to prevent the flames from spreading.

``The incident then transitioned back into the offensive mode, and ... an interior fire attack resumed, extinguishing the remaining pockets of fire,'' Stewart said.

The 4,536-square-foot, nearly 100-year-old building ``housed an artist's studio/metal fabrication business, and was red-tagged -- deemed unsafe to occupy -- by the L.A. Department of Building and Safety,'' Stewart said.

Personnel from the LAFD Arson and Counter-Terrorism Section were investigating the cause of the blaze, ``per protocol'' for a greater-alarm fire, Stewart said.

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