Fire damages home in Hawthorne; officials suspect meth lab

A fire severely damaged a home in Hawthorne Wednesday, and authorities are working to determine if a possible meth lab was in operation at the scene.

Firefighters were sent to the 4700 block of West 136th Street around 8:50 a.m., the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported.

The fire burned through the roof of the building, and a second-alarm assignment was ordered, bringing about 70 firefighters to the scene. Firefighters went into a defensive mode, and worked to prevent the flames from spreading to other structures.

The flames were nearly extinguished within a couple hours, but some crews remained at the scene early Wednesday afternoon, working to fully extinguish the smoldering fire, the fire department reported.

A hazardous-materials team and investigators were sent to the scene on unconfirmed reports that a possible meth lab was at the location, and the investigation was continuing to determine if that was the case.

Firefighters also faced excessive storage conditions inside the structure and around the property, and heavy equipment was being brought in to assist crews in their efforts to sift through the rubble, authorities said.

Police routed traffic away from the area as a precaution. The cause of the fire was under investigation.