A massive fire broke out in Los Angeles underneath Interstate 10 Saturday, damaging the structure and causing a closure, leaving hundreds of thousands of commuters needing to find alternative routes.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Monday that arson was determined to be the cause of the fire.
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) November 13, 2023
City Fire Chief Kristin Crowley said that flames were reported around 12:20 a.m. Saturday, which ripped through two storage lots in an industrial area beneath I-10, burning parked cars, stacks of wooden pallets, and support poles for high-tension power lines.
Los Angeles is notorious for its homeless population, which has many speculating that the fire was started by a homeless person. It has been reported that fires happened up to 24 times a day in homeless encampments.
Newsom declared a state of emergency after a massive fire broke out in Los Angeles causing a major freeway to shut down. Many suspect it started in a homeless encampment littered with drugs housed under the freeway.
Did you know that in 2021 there was an average of 25 fires a… pic.twitter.com/oRcMRF27MN
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) November 13, 2023
Mayor Karen Bass stressed that there was no initial information that would link the fire to the homeless people in the area, and she urged the public not to jump to that conclusion.
At least 16 homeless people, including a pregnant woman, living underneath the freeway were taken to shelters. More than 160 firefighters responded to the blaze, which spread across 8 acres and burned for three hours.
There were no injuries reported.
Residents were told Monday to avoid any unnecessary travel and to work from home if possible. They were also encouraged to use public transportation to limit the amount of traffic.
Know your route around I-10 Fwy closure!
🚆 Transit options can help you avoid the closure entirely @metrolosangeles
🚦 If you must drive, detour routes are available.
👷Be patient, plan ahead, and heed traffic officer instructions.
— LADOT (@LADOTofficial) November 13, 2023
Newsom stated that more than 100 columns along the swath of the freeway were damaged, with at least nine of them being severely damaged.
He also reported that officials have determined that the elevated section of I-10 will not need to be demolished, based on analysis of core samples taken from the freeway. He declared that it could take between three and five weeks to clear.
Some residents are urging Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit the city to speed up the cleanup.
The 10 Freeway in Los Angeles will be closed indefinitely due to a fire that erupted underneath the busy interstate. The fire was likely started due to massive homeless encampments.
Xi Jinping should visit LA next and then they will clean it up! pic.twitter.com/jcAceDNwLs
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) November 13, 2023
With @GavinNewsom and @MayorOfLA at the helm, we are looking at YEARS of repair before the 10 reopens. Perhaps Newsom could alert the crack team that magically cleaned up San Francisco overnight to prepare for his buddy Xi's visit.
— Julie Hamill (@hamill_law) November 13, 2023
No arrests have been made yet. Newsom said that investigators are trying to determine how many people were involved in the arson.