Chief: LA port fire sparked by welding torch

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The city's fire chief says a smoldering fire that forced about 850 people to evacuate from a wharf at the Port of Los Angeles was caused by a spark from a welder's torch.

Two nearby elementary schools have been closed for the day as a precaution.

Chief Ralph Terrazas says it could take until Tuesday afternoon or evening for crews to extinguish the blaze. More than 12 hours after the blaze started, a huge plume of smoke is still drifting over Los Angeles Harbor.

Officials say 150 firefighters had the bulk of the blaze contained about 2 ½ hours after it broke out Monday night, but stubborn flames underneath the docks proved hard to reach.

The fire burned a warehouse and about 150 feet of the dock.

No injuries were reported.