A fast-moving fire in the attic of a one-story strip mall that houses the Our Weekly offices caused damage to two businesses early Saturday morning, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The fire, reported at 3:56 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, brought 119 Los Angeles firefighters to 8720 S. Western Ave. in South Los Angeles, where they discovered heavy smoke billowing from a liquor store at the north end of a five-tenant row of businesses that shared a common attic.
Strategic rooftop ventilation helped limit horizontal fire spread, as firefighters under the command of LAFD Assistant Chief David Yamahata used hand lines to tackle flames within the 100 feet by 75 feet structure.
Firefighters confined most of the fire to the liquor store of fire origin and attic, allowing only minor extension to a beauty supply store immediately to the south. The three other firms, including Our Weekly, were spared fire damage. The flames were fully extinguished in just 35 minutes, and no injuries were reported. Loss from the fire is still being tabulated.
With the incident occurring so close to the OurWeekly offices, the newspaper's hours of operation were restricted, with several employees asked to work remotely from home to prevent risk of excessive smoke inhalation. As a consequence of the fire's disruption, the office only remained open briefly and many communications were missed.
The Western Avenue fire was the third in a series of local business fires that have happened in the previous week.
A non-injury fire at a discount electronics and furnishings business occurred at 10:04 p.m. on Dec. 2, at 3935 S. Vermont Ave., near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It was contained in 59 minutes by 121 firefighters. The heavy fire was confined to the rear half of the business, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The night before a non-injury fire broke out at a one-story business near Inglewood. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the fire at 1514 Manchester Ave. at 2:02 a.m., said Humphrey, adding that 45 firefighters put out the flames in 32 minutes.
The fire was still under active investigation.