The fire at Alameda Street and the East LA Interchange caused significant damage to the steel reinforced concrete columns and melted guardrails. It put many lives in danger and destroyed numerous vehicles. In response, the governor has issued an order to expedite the repairs. Sara Welch reports live from downtown with more details.
Following the governor’s announcement, resources are being mobilized to work around the clock on the repairs. Over 160 LA City firefighters spent several hours extinguishing the flames of the intense fire.
Caltrans will soon begin assessing the structural damage and initiating repairs on this major roadway that has been shut down in both directions throughout downtown LA. The fire spread to several storage areas in downtown, including a section of the 10 freeway.
Homeless individuals living underneath the freeway were forced to flee as the flames engulfed a two-block stretch. The fire started just after midnight underneath the 10 freeway north of 14th Street. It consumed various items, including car parts, automobiles, pallets, and shipping containers.
The fire was so hot that it melted parts of two fire trucks, fencing, and steel rails along the 10 freeway. Chunks of the freeway’s concrete columns also broke away. Before assessing the structural integrity, a hazmat team is needed to remove the burned debris.
Once cleared, Caltrans can proceed with the assessment, tapping on the columns to determine their solidity. Repairs can then be made to the columns while traffic is allowed overhead. Until the assessment is complete, the 10 freeway between Alameda and the East LA Interchange will remain closed, causing significant traffic congestion in downtown.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, and it will take several days for investigators to piece together what happened. The priority is to reopen the freeway as quickly and safely as possible to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. LA Mayor Karen Bass expresses gratitude to the firefighters for their swift response and emphasizes the urgent coordination with state partners to resolve the issue for the millions who use the freeway and the surrounding residents and workers.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the fire..