Firefighters battle commercial building fire in Eagle Rock

Firefighters had a real battle on their hands before they finally extinguished a stubborn fire at a commercial building on Sunday in Eagle Rock, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The blaze inside a building at 4537 Eagle Rock Blvd. was reported at 3:45 p.m., said fire department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart.

The department had to declare it a greater alarm fire, as the building was heavily secured and extensive forcible entry is required. Southbound traffic on Eagle Rock Blvd. between Corliss St. and Avenue 45 was shut down, Stewart said.

The building was 75 feet by 250 feet long and was vacant at the time the fire started Stewart said. Firefighters also had to deal with heavy smoke and flames that caused a partial roof collapse which forced them into a defensive position for a time, Stewart continued. All firefighters were temporarily pulled from the building because of the danger.

The fire also forced firefighters to protect other buildings nearby that were exposed because of the fire, Stewart said. Those included a commercial building called the Philippine Village and another large apartment building where the residents had to be temporarily evacuated.

The department dispatched 98 firefighters to the scene and it took them about 62 minutes to finally get the blaze under control, Stewart said.

No injuries were reported and residents of the evacuated apartment building were finally allowed back inside, Stewart added.

The department also dispatched arson investigators to the scene to determine the cause of the fire, she said.

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