L.A. firefighters are calling a recent blaze a "career fire", saying it's of a kind they might only see once in a lifetime, and officials are looking at possible causes that include arson.
"This is a historic fire, what we as firefighters would call a career fire. It's huge. I really can't remember a building fire this big and I have been with the department for 13 years," said fire department spokesman David Ortiz of the blaze, which destroyed an apartment building that was under construction.
Investigators say that it's rare for an entire building to go up in flames and be fully involved immediately, which may indicate foul play. The fire took up a whole city block and could be seen for miles, giving Los Angeles an apocalyptic look. Heat from the flames was so intense, it melted nearby street signs and caused the windows of neighboring buildings to blow out.
No injuries have been reported, but more than 250 firefighters worked for several hours straight to battle the fire, and nearby freeways were either closed down or experienced delays in the morning hours.
Interestingly, another fire damaged a commercial building in the Westlake section of town several miles away, but officials say they have no reason to believe the blazes are connected.
Firefighters are using specially trained dogs to go through the remains of the apartment complex to sniff out possible accelerants, but the structure was made with wood framing, which may partially explain the rapid spread of the flames.