"Apparently what happened is while they were separating the pile, one of the big pieces of equipment picked up a propane tank, it exploded and set some rubbish on fire and it escalated from there," said Los Angeles City Fire Assistant Chief Tony Varela.
Firefighters were dispatched to the metal yard located at 1738 E. 24th St. on the west side of Long Beach Boulevard at around 9:32 a.m. Commanders at the scene said the fire was successfully put out at 10:52 a.m.
After the fire was contained, firefighters were told to shed heavy fire coats and use brushfire gear because of hot temperatures.
Firefighters were taking special care to ensure that a container of magnesium was isolated from the fire to avoid any type of explosion. A similar fire earlier this week created a huge explosion when water contacted titanium.
No injuries have been reported.
CNS contributed to this report.