Firefighters Wednesday night were battling a massive fire that sent flames and smoke into the air at a Hawthorne strip mall.
The three-alarm blaze was reported about 8:45 p.m. in the 12000 block of South Hawthorne Boulevard, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
Smoke and fire were showing when the first crews arrived, Inspector Anthony Akins said.
The huge blaze lit the nighttime sky as firefighters, perched on aerial ladders, blasted streams of water onto the flames. The heat was so intense that firefighters were forced to take up defensive positions, Akins said.
Late Wednesday, firefighters appeared to be gaining the upper hand in stopping the blaze. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
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