Smoke billows from a building in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles.(Lisa @melisande_8)
Crews go back to work after roofing installation that utilized propane and a pot of tar exploded at this building in the Arts District.(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Crews working in the Arts District building watch from the other side of the street as firefighters put out the fire.(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
Fire crews pack up after a tar pot and propane explosion from a roofing operation in the Arts District.(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
An explosion at a construction site rocked the downtown Los Angeles Arts District on Thursday afternoon.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said the blast occurred about 2:45 p.m. at a building that was under construction. There were no known injuries.
A roofing installation that utilized propane and a pot of tar had exploded at the building, located at 130 South Hewitt St., said LAFD spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. It’s unclear what immediately triggered the blast.
Black smoke could be seen from the area, and more than 75 firefighters knocked down the fire within 20 minutes. The blaze was confined to the building’s courtyard.
A woman who lives in an adjacent building said she was on the phone when she heard a boom. She declined to provide her full name.
“The whole building was shaking,” she said. Soon, she saw flames outside her window.
A security guard at a nearby condo building said the doors of the building vibrated violently, as if a person was pulling on them hard from the other side.
The fire department said the five-story building is under construction. The area has seen a boom of residential and commercial development in recent years.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.