CRIME
12/08/2014 06:45 am ET Updated Dec 08, 2014

Massive Los Angeles Fire At Construction Site Closes Down 2 Major Highways

A massive fire at a construction site in downtown Los Angeles filled the sky with smoke and prompted the closure of two major highways early Monday morning, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The blaze, which began just before 1:30 a.m., completely engulfed a multi-level apartment complex that was under construction on West Temple Street. Smoke filled the city skyline, NBC News reported, and flames from the towering inferno could be seen for several miles.

According to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz, more than 200 firefighters have been battling the fire overnight.

At the time of this writing, there have been no reports of injuries or deaths, KTLA reported. Cause of the fire was also unknown.

Due to the size of the blaze and the needs of first responders to fight it, the 101 Freeway was closed in both directions. Transition lanes between the 110 and the 101 were also shut down, the California Highway Patrol said.

MORE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including a massive one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke.

More than 250 firefighters fought the downtown blaze that was sparked at a construction site around 1:20 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said. Flames consumed the 7-story wood-framed structure and damaged three floors of an adjacent high-rise before being brought under control within 90 minutes. Portions of U.S. Route 101 and Interstate 110 were shut down for a time over fears that debris might fall into lanes.

No injuries were reported. The burned structure was planned to be a tall residential building.

Shortly after 4 a.m. another fire was reported at a mixed-use building about 2 miles to the west. More than 100 firefighters from multiple agencies responded and had the flames under control in less than two hours, according to Chief Deputy Mario D. Rueda.

One person in a nearby apartment building was treated for minor smoke inhalation, he said.

Around 10 businesses were housed in the two-story building in the Westlake district and portions of it were being renovated for residential use.

There were no indications the two incidents were connected, Terrazas said.

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