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Dozens of Firefighters Isolate Koreatown Fire, Ongoing Issue
More than 100 Los Angeles FireFighters were dispatched to fight a fire at a Koreatown strip mall last night, though no one knows for certain what the cause of the huge fire was.
The fire reportedly burned for more than one and a half hours, beginning around 6:40 p.m. and ending around 8:16 p.m., according to KTLA. The fire occurred on a Karaoke and Billiard business located at 207 S Vermont Avenue, but there are no reported injuries. No one was noted to be inside the building, and there was a massive roof collapse during the process of putting out the fire. CBSLA explained that, at one point, crews were able to get inside of the building, but intensity grew even when they put holes in the roof. And according to Steve Hissong, LAFD’s Incident Commander, the crews knew when to leave the building before it did collapse, noting that the roof was becoming noticeably soft.
According to witnesses, the business had been closed for a long time, over a year. However, witness John Wesley also explains that it’s not the first time the strip mall has seen some “odd fires.” And even though no one was inside the building, there was a lot of material to burn, including outdoor individual stages. NBCLA also points out the pool tables that added fodder to the flame. Luckily, no other structures were damaged in the fire that onlookers described as explosive. Witness Cyrus Batchan says that the area has had six fires within the last three years, emphasizing the risk that the building has permitted to exist. According to the building, the problem is an electrical one.
Fox LA also brought attention to another risk. Though there were no reports of people inside the vacant building, some onlookers explained that there are occasionally squatters within the building. Remnants of smoke were still thick in the air around 10 p.m. last night.