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Massive fire wreaking havoc on already chaotic LA traffic was likely caused by arson

Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters that investigators are still searching for answers in who caused the fire

SHARE Massive fire wreaking havoc on already chaotic LA traffic was likely caused by arson

The area of a fire on Lawrence Street shown below, in a portion of Interstate 10 in Los Angeles, between Alameda Street and Santa Fe Avenue on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023. Los Angeles will be without a section of a vital freeway that carries more than 300,000 vehicles daily for an uncertain amount of time following a massive weekend fire at a storage yard, officials warned Monday.

Dean Musgrove, The Orange County Register via Associated Press

Authorities determined that arson was the cause of a massive fire that wreaked havoc on the already chaotic Los Angeles traffic scene Saturday.

“I have to stress that we have determined what started the fire,” Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters, per The Associated Press. He added that investigators are trying to find out if the fire was started by one individual or if more people were involved.

The fire started in a storage yard near a downtown Los Angeles industrial district and “forced the indefinite closure of Interstate 10,” according to The New York Times.

What happened with the Los Angeles fire?

The fire destroyed cars, storage facilities and damaged the freeway, and more than 160 firefighters responded to the fire that “spanned 8 acres and burned for three hours,” NBC Los Angeles reported. No deaths or injuries from the fire have been confirmed.

“Arson appears to be the likely ignition for this fire,” Newsom said, per the Times. “There was malice intent.”

What do we know about Interstate 10 in Los Angeles?

The freeway sees around 300,000 vehicles each day, per CNN.

A citywide alert warned citizens to plan around the interstate for their morning commutes in the city with the freeway closed indefinitely.

“It’s of significant consequence to the economy, to the health and safety of Angelenos,” Newsom said, per CNN. “The impact to our schools, to vulnerable communities — all of that we take very seriously, and we’re sober and mindful of the urgency to get this open.”

Officials don’t believe the freeway will collapse, but it will have to be thoroughly inspected and repaired before becoming available for public use again.