On Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom of California declared a state of emergency in response to a massive industrial fire. The fiery incident resulted in the closure of one of the busiest freeways in downtown Los Angeles.
“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 in a statement.
“The state will assess damage, remove hazardous waste and begin repairs as soon as the site can be accessed,” he added. “Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol will continue to provide updates as they become available.”
The inferno first came to light in the early morning hours around 12:30 a.m., at a pallet yard located beneath the I-10 Freeway in close vicinity to East 14th and Alameda streets, as reported by authorities.
The blaze ultimately expanded to cover an area of eight acres before it was eventually quenched.
Video footage obtained from KABC shows a stunning view where huge flames ascended towards the sky, engulfing a highway bridge.
#BREAKING Both directions of the 10 Freeway near Alameda in Downtown Los Angeles are shutdown following a massive pallet fire. @LAFD on scene. CALTRANS is determining if the structural integrity of the freeway has been compromised.
— Marc Cota-Robles (@abc7marccr) November 11, 2023
The massive flames caused homeless persons living beneath the roadway to hastily disperse. The fire also damaged an LAFD fire engine and civilian automobiles.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), there were no injuries reported.
Caltrans said the highway would be closed for at least 24 hours while they assessed the damage.
“If it’s just the concrete that’s what we call spalled — chipped off — there might be an opportunity just to go in and do some cosmetic fixes,” Caltrans spokeswoman Lauren Wonder told KABC. “If it’s gone down to the rebar and there’s some concern about the structural integrity of the bridge, we would need to keep any traffic load off of the structure and then that would be more extensive repairs.”