Vehicle catches fire, closes street

Photo courtesy of Santosh Kumar Seeralaselvan | Daily Trojan

A vehicle caught fire Wednesday afternoon on Exposition Boulevard and Watt Way, blocking traffic while firefighters addressed the blaze.

No injuries were reported by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Smoke began to pour from the RV shortly after 4 p.m. in front of the entrance to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Graduate student Santhosh Kumar Seeralaselvan contacted LAFD of the fire at 4:10 p.m., but he noted other pedestrians who also witnessed the fire were  recording the event on their phones. After Seeralaselvan’s call, LAFD was dispatched to extinguish the fire.

“When I was coming out [of my apartment], I just saw some smoke coming from Exposition Boulevard,” Seeralaselvan continued. “Everyone around was Snapchatting.”

Exposition Boulevard was closed to car and foot traffic from Figueroa Street to Vermont Avenue. According to LAFD, there was no structural threat or injuries from the fire.

The Department of Public Safety sent a text notification to students at 4:40 p.m., 30 minutes after Seeralaselvan’s initial report to LAFD. Students were then informed of a formal incident resolution at 5:46 p.m. The area was reopened to the public after DPS reported the area was safe. Metro resumed service and traffic returned to normal condition.

Diane Sorkhab, a resident assistant at Parkside Arts & Humanities Residential College, was alerted of the blaze that occurred in close proximity to the residence.

“The first thing that happened was that I got the text and from the perspective of the person who sent the photo, it looked like [Parkside Arts & Humanities Residential College] was on fire,” Sorkhab said. “I was a bit worried about everyone’s safety in the vicinity.”