Massive blaze in downtown LA: 250 firefighters, 2 major freeways closed

Los Angeles city firefighters battle a massive fire at a seven-story downtown apartment complex under construction in Los Angeles, California December 8, 2014 (Reuters / Gene Blevins)
A massive fire has engulfed an apartment building under construction in downtown Los Angeles.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), firefighters were battling the blaze at the corner of Temple and Fremont streets, the Los Angeles Times reports. The LAFD has subsequently tweeted the exact location of the incident.

From the latest reports, it appears they are finally getting it under control. However, according to the LA Times, two adjacent buildings have been damaged in the blaze as the heat being emitted has burst their windows.

“When they came out of the quarters they could see it was fully engulfed,” fire department spokeswoman Katherine Main told the paper. “It was a building under construction in the framing phase. Almost 1 million square feet and a city block.”


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DTLA is on fire! #dtlafire #dtla #fire

A video posted by Man Called Sun (@rkidkin) on Dec 12, 2014 at 1:52am PST

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The fire apparently broke out in an apartment complex under construction near the four-level freeway interchange junction on the northern edge of downtown. A picture of the site is available on Google Maps. The building was intended to be an upscale residential building with commerical space on the lower level.

LAFD spokesman David Ortiz told the LA Times that some 250 firefighters had been dispatched to extinguish the blaze, which he characterized as "huge."

Due to the size of the fire and the logistical issues necessary to put it out, the 101 Freeway nearby is closed in both directions, he said. The California Highway Patrol says that transition lanes between the 110 and 101 have also been shut down. No injuries have been reported.

Social media users in the city have been quick to post pictures of the pillar of fire reaching up into the night sky, with some taking a more ominous interpretation of the blaze.

Several trash cans in the vicinity of the building have also been set on fire, according to social media reports.

The cause of the blaze remains unknown.