6:39 PM EDT, May 29, 2011
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding a substantial fire that broke out at a piņata factory and party supply business early Sunday morning, trapping one man and injuring a firefighter.
21 Los Angeles Fire Department companies, totaling over 100 firefighters, extinguished the blaze in just over an hour. One firefighter reportedly fell and sustained a back injury while battling the blaze. He was transported to a local hospital to receive medical attention. Falling electrical wires caused additional safety hazards.
The greater-alarm commercial fire broke out at the two-story, half-block structure, located on the 1100 block of East 10th Street near Central Avenue at 1:30am Sunday. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene after two security guards reported noticing the fire on their way home from work.
After calling 911, the security guards reported hearing a man screaming for help from inside the blaze. According to reports, the man had managed to escape the burning building but had been trapped behind a tall wrought iron fence with his back to the flames.
The security guards were able to help the man to safety by stacking a pallet up against the fence before firefighters arrived on the scene. Firefighters arrived to find a large outside fire exposing the rear of two buildings, a tall warehouse connected by a division wall to a one-story building separated into an approximate half dozen, 50' x 100' individual stores containing party supplies.
The blaze caused substantial damage to the factory and retail stores.