The fire was first reported at 12:22 a.m. in the 1700 block of East 14th Street, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The first storage yard measured 40,000 square feet and was fully involved in flames that engulfed several trailers, firefighters said. Flames spread to a similarly sized pallet storage yard between Lawrence and Elwood streets and consumed a fire truck that got stuck in their path. Several civilian vehicles were also destroyed by the inferno.
“Firefighters successfully defended three exposed commercial buildings from the spreading fire,” the LAFD said in a statement.
By 2:33 a.m., pallets at both sites were largely consumed by flames and firefighters were using bulldozers to move debris and extinguish hot spots.
The Department of Water and Power helped increase water pressure in the area to meet the high volume needed, officials said. The agency also handled the cross arm of a fallen live high-voltage wire on 14th Street.
The first storage yard is located under Highway 10. The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert at 1:19 a.m., closing the highway in both eastbound and westbound directions at Alameda Street.
Traffic was stopped for kilometers in both directions. The CHP was diverting eastbound traffic onto Alameda Street and westbound vehicles onto Santa Fe Avenue.
Caltrans engineers were on site to assess the damage to the highway and determine if it could reopen safely. Cleaning is expected to continue throughout the morning.
Fire Truck 17 was first on scene and became stuck under the highway overpass, officials said. It burned in the fire.
The highway is expected to remain closed in place for at least 24 hours.