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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Firefighters Battle Blaze at Port of Los Angeles

Elementary school students and faculty have been evacauted as a precaution. 

UPDATE (September 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM): The stubborn dock fire has been fully extinguished this morning, according to Katherine Main of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Only the Pasha terminal, which is where the fire initially started, remains closed. 

A fire broke out on the Port of Los Angeles Monday night, forcing more than 850 people to evacuate.

A spark from a welder started this fire, which was still burning strongly over an area of around 40 acres of pier as of 2:10 p.m. PDT. The Los Angeles Fire Department teamed up with the Los Angeles Coast Guard to fight the flames from both land and sea.

Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said the fire is a “difficult fire to fight,” but after changing the locations of their boats, the flames have significantly decreased.  The fire has been difficult to defeat due to the creosote coating of the pier. Used as a waterproof layer, this substance is highly flammable.

As a safety precaution, the students at De la Torre Elementary School have been evacuated to San Pedro High School, and all citizens within range of the smoke have been encouraged to stay inside.

No injuries or deaths have been reported yet, and any boats tied to this dock were moved to safety.

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