Los Angeles County firefighters attempting to extinguish a fire at a Pico Rivera generator plant were pelted with rocks by a group of teen-agers who ran away when sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene, authorities said Monday.
The rock throwers also bombarded a Union Pacific train that stopped because of the fire, which officials said may have been deliberately set.
Capt. Carl Allen of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said about 10 youths started throwing rocks shortly after the blaze began Sunday night at Rosen Electric Equipment Co. in the 8200 block of Whittier Boulevard.
"Everybody was busy working on the fire when all of a sudden a few rocks were thrown over our way," Allen said. "We got the sheriff over there and they split." No arrests were made.
Allen said that no Fire Department equipment was damaged and that no firefighters were injured by the rocks. Some windows on the train were broken, Sheriff's Sgt. Benjamin LaMothe said.
Firefighter Ed Wood, 36, suffered rib injuries while fighting the fire and was treated at Beverly Community Hospital and released, Allen said.
The fire caused $80,000 in structural damage and destroyed contents valued at $120,000 at the electronics firm, Allen said.
Allen said that the fire was "of suspicious origin" and that arson investigators planned to examine the building today. Asked if the rock throwers may have ignited the fire in order to set up the firefighters for the attack, Allen said, "I don't think that was the intent, but anything's possible."
Union Pacific spokesman Ray Troyer said another train crew was pelted by rock throwers on Friday night in nearby Bell after the railroad workers stopped their locomotive when an apparent arson fire broke out on the train tracks.
Troyer said three juveniles were detained by Union Pacific security officers in that incident.