EAST LOS ANGELES -- County firefighters tonight battled a three-alarm fire in a strip of storefronts in the heart of the Whittier Boulevard business district.

The fire in the 4700 block of Whittier Blvd. at Arizona Street was reported at 8:20 p.m. and was burning in five or six units, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman.

Giant flames burst through the roof of the Olympica Discount Center, but it's not clear if the center is occupied, according to some news reporters at the scene. The center's rooftop sign has collapsed through the burning roof.

The department dispatched 18 engines to the scene, he said.

The flames were out at 10:30 p.m. and firefighters finished putting out embers around midnight but planned to watch the structure overnight, he said.

No injuries were immediately reported and the cause of the fire was not yet determined.

Whittier and Arizona are blocked off to traffic at the scene of the fire.

Tonight's fire comes less than three weeks after another three-alarm blaze destroyed an East L.A. affordable housing project on 1st Street that was a few months away from opening. 

Updated on Sept. 5, 2020 with new photos

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