A greater-alarm fire began Wednesday in a homeless encampment in Venice and spread to a vacant two-story commercial building, but no one was injured.
The blaze at 723 S. Ocean Front Walk, which also temporarily threatened two other buildings, was reported at 6:19 a.m. and took 116 firefighters nearly 2 1/2 hours to fully extinguish, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The flames extended through the roof of the two-story, 6,952-square-foot building, forcing firefighters into a defensive position initially, he said.
“With an aggressive effort to curtail the flames underway and additional firefighting resources en route, the first arriving LAFD crews forcibly breached the perimeter of the well-secured fire building to assure no one was trapped inside the heat- and smoke-charged structure,” Humphrey said.
Once crews determined no one was in danger inside, firefighters began attacking the flames from outside, he said.
The structure was heavily damaged and is now unstable, according to the LAFD, but a damage estimate was not immediately released.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, Humphrey said.
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