Propane Cylinders Fuel Industrial Building Fire in Northeast Los Angeles

The fire burned for nearly two hours in an industrial area north of downtown Los Angeles

Propane cylinders and combustible storage items fueled a large fire Monday morning at an industrial building in the Glassell Park area north of downtown Los Angeles.

A passer-by called 911 to report the fire at about 5 a.m. in the 3000 block of North Fierro Street. More than 140 firefighters responded to the fire, which burned for about two hours and sent thick smoke over the industrial business area.

Andrew Rammel had just stepped outside his home in a nearby neighborhood when he and his wife noticed smoke.

"That big black cloud reminded me of one thing -- there was an explosive accelerant causing that," Rammel said.

No injuries were reported. Firefighters, some on adjacent rooftops, worked to protect neighboring buildings and no homes were threatened by the fire.

Three other buildings were damaged by the fire.

A neighboring business owner said he received a report that propane tanks began exploding early Monday, leading to the fire at Diamond Straw Inc. He said another fire was reported at the same business, which manufactures plastic straws, about one year ago.

"It just went out of the control," said Jack Youredjian, owner of Western Drug, which provides medical supplies. "I'm just hoping and praying the back part of our business isn't damaged.

"I'm kind of shocked as to how they're attacking the fire. The fire department is doing a great job."

Firefighters also faced strong wind gusts, which fanned flames and redirected hose streams.

By about 6:30 a.m., white smoke began to drift from the building, but fire crews remained at the scene. San Fernando Road is closed between Los Feliz Boulevard and Fletcher Drive during the morning drive.

"There is going to be a significant impact to traffic," said spokesman Brian Humphrey, of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Firefighters declared a knockdown at about 7 a.m. Details regarding the cause were not immediately avaialble.

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