Nearly 200 firefighters battle downtown L.A. building fire


Firefighters were battling a massive blaze at a wholesale building in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday evening as flames burned through the attic and sent plumes of smoke into the sky.

No one was injured, but the smoke could be seen from across the city.

The Los Angeles Fire Department first reported the fire in the 800 block of South Central Avenue about 6:30 p.m. Large, bulky goods stored in the building appeared to have contributed to the fire’s size, spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said in a statement.


Among the goods was a large quantity of red chili peppers, adding an irritant to the fumes, Stewart said. One of the affected stores appeared to sell everything from fruits and vegetables to piñatas, popcorn and sweets.

More than 190 firefighters were on scene. Central Avenue was closed in the vicinity. Shortly after 9 p.m., the fire appeared to be winding down and the department said it was addressing hot spots within the building. Authorities said smoke probably would be seen rising from the site for several more hours.

No information was immediately available about what started the blaze.


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9:46 p.m.: This article has been updated throughout with staff reporting. It includes new details from the LAFD, including the presence of chili peppers in the building.

This article was originally published at 9:05 p.m.