Commerce Neighborhood Awakes to Explosive Fire, Smoke and a Fireworks Show

The staccato popping sounds of fireworks could be heard as colorful streaks soared over flames and smoke in a Commerce railroad storage area

Fireworks rocketed into the night sky early Tuesday when an explosive fire that began in a stack of wooden railroad ties spread to a nearby storage shed in a Commerce neighborhood.

The fire was reported at about 3:30 a.m. near Ferguson Drive and Burrard Avenue in the southeast Los Angeles County community. Iris Urquidi and her family were among the residents forced to evacuate as smoke and flames towered over their homes.

The railroad tie storage area is separated from the residential area by a sound wall that was no match for the fire's intense heat.

"The fire was so hot that it busted through that wall. It just consumed that wall," Urquidi said. "Our house is bumped up against that wall."

No injuries were reported. Urquidi said she was waiting to see whether her home was damaged. 

"We're alive. We're safe, that's all that matters," Urquidi said.

As firefighters protected residences, the fire set off fireworks that lit up the night sky with streaks of red, white and other colors above the smoke and flames. It was not immediately known why the fireworks were being stored in the shed.

"The fire had made its way into a nearby shed, which ignited, pretty spectacularly, a number of fireworks," said LA County Fire Battalion Chief Roland Sprewell.

The Metrolink San Bernardino Line train 303 was being held at the Baldwin Park station due to the fire near the tracks.

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