Firefighters gain control over intense warehouse fires in Carson and El Sereno

Firefighters spray hoses amid smoke in a warehouse fire
Fire crews battle a warehouse fire in Carson on Thursday.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles city and county firefighters battled a pair of warehouse fires in Carson and El Sereno that sent thick, black smoke billowing into the skies Thursday, attracting attention from around the area.

The incidents, which are not related, were brought under control by late evening.

The first fire tore through a warehouse facility in Carson on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Crews were dispatched at 2:12 p.m. to a report of a commercial structure fire at 16325 S. Avalon Blvd., according to the L.A. County Fire department.


Units on scene reported smoke and fire showing from the back of the building, firefighters said.

The fire is believed to have started in boxes of rubbing alcohol, firefighters said.

Shortly before 5 p.m., the Fire Department announced it had upgraded the incident again to a “greater alarm,” with about 200 firefighters on scene.

Firefighters made “significant progress” in stopping the heavy fire activity, the Fire Department said shortly before 6 p.m. Crews expected to remain on scene through the night extinguishing hot spots and flare-ups.

Three firefighters were injured while fighting the blaze, with two treated at the scene and one taken to a hospital, the department said. The hospitalized firefighter’s condition was not provided.

Los Angeles city firefighters, meanwhile, battled an inferno that broke out in a commercial building in El Sereno and burned for nearly two hours before more than 100 firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze.

That fire was reported after 5 p.m. at 4900 E. Alhambra Ave., according to the L.A. Fire Department. Preliminary information provided to crews described it as a large, one-story commercial building with flames coming out of the roof.

The fire belched thick plumes of black smoke, attracting the attention of many around University Hills, Cal State L.A. and surrounding areas.

As in Carson, the Alhambra Avenue incident was upgraded to a “greater alarm,” firefighters said.

In all, 146 Los Angeles firefighters were joined by backup crews from the L.A. County Fire Department and contained the fire to a 40,000-square-foot, single-story commercial building that firefighters said had also served as a roller derby auditorium in recent years.

Crews took one hour, 52 minutes to fully extinguish the flames.

One city firefighter suffered a shoulder injury and was taken to a hospital in fair condition, firefighters said. His injury is not considered life-threatening.

Authorities were able to account for all civilians inside and near the building at the time the fire broke out, firefighters said. No other injuries were reported.

Crews were expected to remain on scene through Thursday night to ensure there were no flare-ups, firefighters said. Investigators are looking into what caused the blaze.