Major fire erupts at scrap yard near LA port

WILMINGTON — More than 100 firefighters continued to battle a huge fire today at a Wilmington auto scrap yard.

No one was injured and no adjacent structures were damaged, and by 3:30 p.m., firefighters were "getting a handle on the fire,'' said Devin Gales of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fire was reported at 11:34 a.m. at a junkyard in the 1900 block of North Blinn Avenue, near Pacific Coast Highway, said Devin Gales of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Three hours later, the fire was still burning sending up a huge plume of smoke near the Port of Los Angeles.

A commander at the scene said water supplies were insufficient, and Gales said the fire was in a "large metal pile,'' making it difficult to get to the flames. He compared the area to "a football field full of metal.''

Heavy truck traffic entering adjacent dockyards was also hindering the movement of fire trucks, firefighters said.

Firefighters commandeered forklifts to move wrecked autos away from the burning cars. Gales said 16 fire companies and four rescue teams -- 103 firefighters in all -- battled the blaze.

A "major emergency fire'' status was declared by the fire department at 2:33 p.m. and all training exercises across the city were canceled, he said.