Fire ravages frozen Chinese food plant near LA

AP News
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Posted: May 09, 2011 9:31 PM
Fire ravages frozen Chinese food plant near LA

Firefighters knocked down a fire Monday that caused $5 million in damage to a frozen Chinese food plant in Southern California and blackened the sky with a plume of smoke.

Five-thousand gallons of soybean cooking oil fed the flames that took 100 firefighters six hours to extinguish at the Windsor Quality Food Co. plant in Huntington Park, Los Angeles County fire Inspector Matt Levesque said.

About 25 workers were in the plant when it was hit by an explosion around 5:30 a.m., Levesque said. Employees fought the blaze with handheld fire extinguishers before fleeing.

One woman suffered a minor elbow injury when she fell, and a firefighter had a minor injury.

"We will be working closely with fire officials to determine the cause of this incident and we appreciate the quick response of firefighters today," Lynn Hall, Senior Vice President of Houston, Texas-based Windsor Foods said in a statement.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

The blaze burned through the roof and made it too dangerous to send firefighters inside, fire officials said. Instead, they used ladders and hoses to stream water on the roof.

The building was reduced to a blackened ruin. However, a wall kept the flames from spreading to adjoining structures.

The building housed the Golden Tiger brand of the Windsor company. The plant made eggrolls and other Asian items that are sold at Costco and restaurants such as Red Lobster, according to the brand's website.

Huntington Park is about 5 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.