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Firefighters Battle Massive Downtown Fire, Fumes Infused With Chili Peppers

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(Photo courtesy of LAFD/Jorge Arellano)
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Nearly 200 firefighters responded to a fire that overtook a downtown L.A. wholesale building on Sunday, reports the L.A. Times. The smoke from the massive blaze could be seen from across the city.

The fire was first reported at about 6:30 p.m. in the 800 block of South Central Avenue. The building contained large bulks of goods, with red chili peppers being among them. The chili peppers added an extra irritant to the fumes; the scent was so strong that, even after the fire was extinguished, it remained an active irritant, according to one CBS reporter:

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Margaret Stewart, a spokesperson with the Los Angeles Fire Department, told LAist that the chili-infused fumes didn't delay firefighting procedures. Though she added that the fumes were particularly irritating. "With the added irritant, some were experiencing burning eyes. It was almost like a mild macing," said Stewart.

The bulk of the fire was extinguished within two hours of the firefighters' arrival.

No one was injured from the fire. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation. Stewart says that the amount of "combustibles," including the amount of bulk goods, had made it harder for investigators to get into the building.