A fire gutted a building housing a 99 Cents Only store in Culver City Monday, but no one was hurt, authorities said.
The fire was reported about 2:15 a.m. at 12717 Washington Blvd. Culver City police Sgt. M. Van Hook said.
Neighbors told reporters at the scene they heard an explosion that sounded like fireworks before seeing the store engulfed in flames.
Personnel from the Culver City and the Los Angeles fire departments were sent to the scene, and quickly took defensive stance in the battle, training water on the fire from atop ladder trucks and the street outside.
The roof and some walls collapsed, and by around 5:30 a.m. it appeared that most of the flames were out.
Firefighters remained on scene hours afterward pouring water on the embers, and they prevented the flames from spreading to other structures. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Some neighbors told reporters they lost power after a utility pole caught fire. The store was closed at the time.
Streets in the area were closed down, and motorists were urged to avoid the area.
The Los Angeles Fire Department sent 45 firefighters to help in the effort, LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
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