Some 125 firefighters knocked down the flames in a “major emergency fire” that ripped through a five-story, vacant office building in Van Nuys, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The fire inside the building at 7101 N. Sepulveda Blvd. was reported at 4:07 p.m. and was burning on all the floors, department spokesman Brian Humphrey said. The building was boarded up on all sides, he added.
No other buildings were threatened, Humphrey said, but firefighters requested police assistance in moving a large contingent of homeless people from tents in an adjacent parking lot to prevent them from being injured by falling debris.
Initially, firefighters were forced to operate in a defensive manner using multiple heavy streams in attacking the fire from the building’s exterior only, Humphrey continued. The bulk of the flames were knocked down in 71 minutes and the fire was fully extinguished in about one hour and 43 minutes, Humphrey added.
The fire prompted the full closure of Sepulveda Boulevard between Vose Street and Sherman Way. Authorities advised the public to avoid the area. The closure was expected to remain in effect until the LAFD completes its operations.
As firefighters completed full containment, the LAFD’s Urban Search and Rescue crews entered the building and began searching floors to assess it for structural integrity, Humphrey said.
No injuries have been reported, and so far there was no indication that any person was missing in the fire, Humphrey said. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
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