Fire trucks and crews had to squeeze their way through narrow hillside streets this afternoon to battle a blaze that broke out in a three-story home at the top of Elysian Heights, where residents hosed down yards in an area dense with homes, brush and trees. Fire trucks and private vehicles clogged the streets, making it difficult to gain access to the fire that was reported  at about 1:45 p.m. in the 1600 block of Landa Street. “It was a challenge getting units in place,” said LAFD Battalion Chief Rudy Hill. No injuries had been reported and the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

The fire appeared to be out by about 2 p.m. but smoke continued to pour of the home and flames continue to burn on one side of the shingled structure on Landa Street, which is barely wide enough to accommodate some of the department’s 10-foot wide fire trucks.

With limited access, some of the fire crews ran hoses downhill from Echo Park Avenue while an unpaved section of Landa Street off Stadium Way was opened to allow fire trucks to get to the scene from below.

Gene Levitansky, who lives next door to the fire-damaged house, said residents of the secluded neighborhood filled with century-old bungalows overlooking the 5 Freeway had waged a long campaign to get Landa Street paved about six years to improve access. “It’s not easy to get a [fire] truck up here,” he said.

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