LOS ANGELES (AP) A fire engulfed a two-story building in the downtown Garment District early Thursday, gutting a labyrinth-like collection of small stores and sending flames and smoke pouring through the roof.
Nobody was in the building at the time and no injuries were reported, authorities said.
The fire broke out shortly before 5 a.m. About 175 firefighters extinguished the blaze at 6:42 a.m., fire spokeswoman d'Lisa Davies said.
About 10 stores shared the first floor of the building and the second floor was storage space, Fire Battalion Chief Ron Villanueva said.
"The garments were in there. There was a lot of retail (clothing) businesses," he said.
Conditions facing firefighters inside were "maze-like," Fire Chief Douglas Barry said.
However, Davies said the buildings in the area did meet building and safety codes.
The cause of the fire was not immediately determined but arson investigators went to the scene.