Fire Destroys 3-Story Building Near Downtown LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A raging fire that began on grass destroyed a three-story commercial building, forced the shutdown of a lane of the nearby Hollywood Freeway and sent towering flames over a heavily populated Echo Park neighborhood northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Fire spokesman Brian Humphrey says according to witnesses the blaze started in vegetation about 10 p.m. Tuesday then leapt to the building and burned for nearly two hours before it was extinguished.

Humphrey says firefighters entered the building but fled when a ceiling collapsed. Five firefighters suffered superficial injuries, but all returned to the fire fight.

The freeway lane was reopened shortly before the fire was out.

There were no civilian injuries and no one reported missing from the building, which houses an office cleaning company, a courier and other businesses.

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