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L.A. fire spurs traffic chaos: 110 lanes open, hours of delays expected

Fire, freeway closure ruins downtown morning commute

The 110 Freeway northbound has been partially reopened after a massive fire early Monday morning. But it will still take traffic surrounding downtown L.A. hours to recover, officials said.

“Just imagine that major artery -- which is about eight miles long that takes people downtown and into Hollywood, Glendale, Burbank -- to shut that off. We’re adding another hour of commute,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Edgar Figueroa.

Three lanes of the 110 north were reopened near downtown as of 10:15 a.m.

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A fire that engulfed an apartment complex under construction Monday morning also seared the 110 and traffic signs standing over it, officials said. The northbound lanes were closed completely until 10 a.m.

Traffic was crawling at 5 to 10 mph as far south as USC, which is more than three miles away from the shutdown, Figueroa said.

“Even the freeways that are feeding into that, even the alternative routes are going to be pretty backed up,” said Officer Monica Posada. "It's backed up for miles."

Authorities estimated it could take as long as four hours for traffic to return to normal after the 110 reopened.

According to witnesses and firefighters, flames could be seen for miles from the fire that broke out in the DaVinci apartment complex about 1:20 a.m.

More than 250 firefighters battled the blaze at the apartment tower being built in the 900 block of Fremont Avenue, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz said. The building had 1.3 million square feet of floor space, and officials said two-thirds of it was consumed by flames.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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