“The Flames Were 5 Stories High”: Firefighters Battle Blaze at Cosmetics Plant

A person suffered burn injuries when a two-alarm fire tore through a cosmetics plant in Avocado Heights Friday.

The fire near the intersection of Collwood Avenue and East Valley Boulevard was reported at 5:11 p.m. and knocked down at 8:23 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Several tanks exploded inside the business, compromising parts of the building. Firefighters went into defensive mode, pouring water on the flames from outside the structure, county fire Inspector Randall Wright said.

Witnesses from nearby La Puente could feel the powerful flames, which towered high into the sky. Unknown chemicals on site also changed the smoke from black to gray to pink.

"I was inside of my office and all of a sudden I started smelling some smoke, I looked out and I saw some flames up… looked about five stories high. They were just coming out of the building," witness Robert Garcia.

"It was hot. Standing from here I could feel it like you're standing around a campfire, so it was pretty big," resident Daniel Elias said.

Dozens of firefighters were deployed and Valley Boulevard was closed from the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway to Workman Mill Road, the fire department reported.

A civilian was treated at the scene for a burn injury, but was not taken to a hospital, according to fire department dispatchers. A firefighter also suffered minor injuries.

Crews were expected to remain at the scene for what was expected to be a long overhaul process.

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