Fire destroys commercial building, damages second structure in South LA

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A massive fire destroyed a commercial building in Historic South-Central Los Angeles early Thursday morning and spread to a second building, officials said.

Firefighters responded about 12:50 a.m. to the 3700 block of South Grand Avenue, near 38th Street, and found heavy fire coming from a one-story 100-foot-by-200-foot building, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

At about 1:15 a.m., Stewart said the fire had gone through the roof and, due to the "possible loss of structural integrity, this is transitioning to a defensive operation.''

The flames spread to a nearby two-story, 50-foot-by-100-foot commercial building and caused significant damage, but a "closely coordinated operation'' allowed crews to extinguish that fire and save a large portion of the building, Stewart said.

The first building was declared a total loss, she said.

A total of 99 firefighters were assigned to the greater-alarm incident, and a knock down was called at about 3:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.

One of the buildings appears to be the home of the Amity Foundation, a non-profit organization recognized for advocacy.

Department arson investigators were sent to the scene to try to determine the cause of the fire.

High-voltage power lines and transformers in the area were arcing and caused a hazard to firefighters, Stewart said, adding Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews on scene addressed that issue.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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