Buses burn, transformers explode after massive fire breaks out at Los Angeles pallet yard

A massive fire visible across Los Angeles burned material in a commercial yard and destroyed parked buses early Friday. CBS Los Angeles reports the inferno erupted in Compton before dawn and consumed stacks of pallets in a very large industrial yard.

Flames then spread to buses parked in a lot next door.  Aerial footage from CBS Los Angeles showed at least 10 buses, including school buses and luxury charter buses, ablaze.

Dozens of L.A. County County firefighters were on scene. Deputies were warning nearby residents to get out of the area.

Large explosions could be heard as several transformers and power lines sparked and popped. In one case, dangerous sparks could be seen emanating from a small structure with firefighters just feet away. Plumes of black smoke could be seen from as far away as the Hollywood Hills.

Surrounding businesses were evacuated, but there were no immediate reports of serious injuries, the sheriff’s department said. However, a man who works at Reddaway, a trucking company down the block from the pallet yard, told CBS Los Angeles that both he and his coworker were struck by power lines.

“The power line hit me in the arm, and my partner also got hit, but he got hit in the back. He got a little bit more of an injury than I did,” Robert Vega told the station.

A man who works near where the Compton fire broke out Friday morning describes being struck by a power line after a transformer exploded: “The power line hit me in the arm, and my partner also got hit, but he got hit in the back.” LATEST HERE: https://t.co/CmYfUPCR9d pic.twitter.com/WHgP8L1rOQ

Vega said he heard the transformer explode.

“I heard it from the main source there, and then it started coming down. And then it sparked up there on top, and I looked and it hit me, and then I started running. And that’s when it hit me on the arm. And there was someone else there standing beside us and he ran for his life too.”

The fire had knocked out electricity to about 50 Southern California Edison customers. As of 7:15 a.m., only three customers were without power, according to SCE’s website.

The cause of the blaze was not known.

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