Fire engulfs Chatsworth industrial building

CHATSWORTH, Calif. Firefighters responded to the fire reported at a commercial building at 9256 Owensmouth Ave. at about 6:15 p.m. The building, measuring approximately 100 feet by 150 feet, was fully engulfed in flames.

It took firefighters more than two hours to put out the fire, which gutted the company, which prints political materials. The business was winding down from a busy election season, so instead of being fully staffed, there was only one worker in the building when the fire started.

The worker was able to get out safely, and no injuries were reported in the incident.

"I've been in business for a long time," said the owner Fred Thomas. "I'm sure we'll get it fixed, but it's an overwhelming sight to see your business up in flames."

Owensmouth Avenue was closed in both directions between Nordhoff Street and Plummer Street as firefighters surrounded the building in the industrial area in the western region of the San Fernando Valley.

The fire was still smoldering about three hours after it began.

"Five hours ago, we had jobs," said Oscar Firis, a machine operator at the building. "Now, we don't know. It's sad."

In a related incident, two children were reportedly injured when they fell off a balcony at a Chatsworth apartment as they were watching the flames.

An 18-month-old boy and a 3-year-old girl fell off of a third-story balcony of an apartment on Parthenia Street.

The children were hospitalized. The girl was initially listed in critical condition, but was changed to serious but stable condition. The boy was listed in fair condition.

According to the LAPD, the incident appeared to be an accident, and there was no negligence detected. Charges were not expected to be filed.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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