California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County due to a fire underneath the I-10 freeway near downtown LA.
“The state is mobilizing resources and taking steps to ensure any necessary repairs are completed as soon as possible to minimize the impact on those traveling in and around Los Angeles,” Newsom said.
“I want to thank all of the first responders and firefighters working tirelessly to contain this fire. The state will assess damage, remove hazardous waste and begin repairs as soon as the site can be accessed. Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol will continue to provide updates as they become available,” he added.
UPDATE: Gov. Gavin Newsom declares State of Emergency to help facilitate cleanup, repairs after pallet fire shuts down 10 Freeway in downtown LA https://t.co/ZyCeOH3yJz
NEW: The governor said in a statement that the state is”… mobilizing resources & taking steps to ensure any necessary repairs are completed on the I-10” following an early morning fire that shut down the freeway.https://t.co/7gUeg4mqpL
The 10 Freeway remains closed in both directions after a fire erupted at two pallet yards underneath the freeway early Saturday morning, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The fire was reported at 1:46 a.m. at a storage yard underneath the 10 Freeway at Alameda and 14th streets in downtown Los Angeles.
A SigAlert was issued and the freeway was shut down, causing backups. Caltrans said the freeway would be closed indefinitely, with no exact timeline as to when it would reopen.
As a result of the blaze, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County. In a statement released Saturday evening, Newsom said the state is “mobilizing resources & taking steps to ensure any necessary repairs are completed on the I-10 as soon as possible to minimize the impact on those traveling in & around Los Angeles.”
A group of 160 LA firefighters and 26 companies were on scene to battle the intense flames.
“It’s quite a large population of people experiencing homelessness living out here on these streets and RVs and makeshift homes, and they were all driven back by the heat but none of them luckily were injured,” David Ortiz, Public Information Officer for LAFD, said.
🚨DTLA CLOSURE ALERT🚨
I-10 will be FULLY CLOSED until further notice between the East LA Connector & Alameda St due to a fire that damaged the freeway. Avoids the area, expect major delays & seek alternate routes to events in #DTLA or use @metrolosangeles public transportation. pic.twitter.com/xMjrHsl17L
The fire was first reported at 12:22 a.m. in the 1700 block of East 14th Street, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It would eventually go on to burn 8 acres – the equivalent of six football fields.
The first storage yard was 40,000-square-feet and was fully involved with flames that engulfed multiple trailers, the Fire Department said. The flames spread to a storage yard of similar size between Lawrence and Elwood streets, and consumed a fire engine that became stuck in their path. Several civilian vehicles were also destroyed by the inferno.
“Firefighters have successfully defended three exposed commercial buildings from fire extension,” the LAFD said in a statement. No injuries were reported.
The Department of Water and Power assisted by boosting water pressure in the area for the high volume needed, officials said. The agency also dealt with a cross arm of energized high-tension wire that fell on 14th Street.
The first storage yard is located under the 10 Freeway. The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert at 1:19 a.m., shutting down the interstate in both eastbound and westbound directions at Alameda Street.
Traffic was backed up for miles in both directions. The CHP was diverting eastbound traffic at Alameda Street and westbound vehicles at Santa Fe Avenue.
Read the full proclamation of a state of emergency below: