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Community News: Los Angeles

Morning Fire Destroys Plant Near Airport

June 22, 1995|KELLY DAVID

Fire engulfed a one-story manufacturing plant east of Los Angeles International Airport early Tuesday, causing more than $500,000 in damage.

No one was injured in the blaze, which left only the building's outer brick walls standing. The fire was extinguished in less than an hour by about 50 Los Angeles firefighters shortly before 3 a.m., said Jim Wells, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman.

"The whole building was pretty much destroyed," said Pamela McMaster, owner of Protech Design and Manufacturing, a producer of components and packaging for medical equipment. She said she arrived at the scene about 3:30 a.m.

McMaster's 15 employees have been put to work trying to salvage charred invoices and placing orders for new raw materials while McMaster finds a temporary place to operate.

"We are hoping to get back in operation as quickly as possible," she said. "Friends have offered the use of their equipment."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but is suspected to have been electrical, McMaster said.

The 15,000-square-foot building at 5220 W. 104th St. was being monitored by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for power surges of up to 580 volts, McMaster said. The company's regular voltage was 440, she said.

The voltage surges were detected after a computer was burned out four months ago, McMaster said.

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