The blaze, which started at about 5:30 p.m., produced a thick cloud of black smoke that was visible for miles. The odor of burning plastic wafted a few blocks south into Atwater Village, where residents gathered by the train tracks to watch flames and a giant cloud of smoke rise into the sky.
The two-story building housed a party supply store, said fire department spokesman Erik Scott. The building was occupied when firefighters arrived but everyone was evacuated and no injuries were reported, according to preliminary reports.
Update @ 6:16 pm: LAFD has deployed more than 150 firefighters to the scene of the fire, which is burning in a two-story building. “This major emergency fire quickly spread causing heavy flames throughout the building forcing firefighters to battle the blaze in a defensive mode,” said an LAFD update. “Electrical wires are down causing a hazard to firefighters near the business and a 20′ collapse zone has been identified during the incident due to potential wall collapse or failure.”
Update @ 6:39 pm: Smoke has dissipated and turned to white from black. Firefighters still pouring water on building.
Update @ 6:49 pm: A section of San Fernando Road remains closed to traffic, according to Google Maps.
Update @ 12:40 am on Sept. 18: The fire was officially declared extinguished. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
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