Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A major downtown Los Angeles freeway interchange will be closed indefinitely after a massive fire at a pallet storage yard early Saturday melted some of the steel guardrails on Interstate-10, fire department official said.
More than 160 firefighters from 26 stations and a helicopter helped battle the inferno that erupted under I-10 at East 14th and Alameda streets about 12:30 am. The flames quickly spread to nearby storage yard. Several vehicles, including a fire engine, were damaged, but crews protected three commercial buildings from the flames. No one was injured.
"10 will be FULLY CLOSED until further notice between the East LA Connector & Alameda St due to a fire that damaged the freeway. Avoids the area, expect major delays & seek alternate routes to events," Caltrans said on X.
As of 10 a.m. Saturday, firefighters were still putting out hot spots. Officials need to inspect the damaged portions of the roadway to determine the repairs.
"We don't know if there are hazardous materials in there, so once the fire gets put out, our hazardous teams will have to go in and ensure that it is safe for the structural engineers to go in and check," Caltrans spokeswoman Lauren Wonder said. "They will do hammer tests and visual tests to get a sense of the strength and the structural integrity of the bridge, then we can figure out whether we just have to replace the concrete or actually go in and replace rebar."