"They gained access, they were battling the blaze for at least five minutes, close to 10 and then they had to back out because of the intense heat," said Los Angeles Fire Department's Ronnie Villanueva.
Firefighters, who quickly took a defensive position, also had to watch out for exploding transformers and red hot power lines. The building housed a furniture manufacturing company called Cubic Design, which contained flammable materials such as woods, chemicals and sawdust.
Roger Huh owns the company. He entered the burned building with arson investigators in search of anything he could salvage. All he came away with was a charred computer and a bag of smoldering papers. Huh was devastated by the loss and fears he will have to lay off his six employees.
Huh leased the building from Eve Reynolds, whose grandfather built the structure in 1954.
"It feels like a little piece of history. I don't see it making it through the incineration. I don't know what's going to happen to it. It's just kind of sad," she said.