The fire began at 5:30 a.m. Monday at Alameda Street and Gage Avenue. It is reported that the building is a Chinese food processing business.
"We heard a noise, explosion," said Jorge, an employee who was inside at the time of the explosion. "It came up from the boiler room. We ran up to see what was going on, and we saw the fire come up from the room."
Jorge said that approximately 25 people were inside the building at the time of the explosion. One female employee reportedly suffered a minor injury and was transported to a hospital in good condition.
Firefighters said that large amounts of soy bean oil were fueling the flames.
"It has gone to a third alarm, so we have triple the amount of firefighters and resources that originally were sent," said Capt. Mark Savage from L.A. County Fire. "We have over 75 firefighters. Our first priority is protection of life, getting anybody who was in this building out of the building."
The fire department said a firewall helped keep the flames from spreading to nearby structures, and evacuation at nearby buildings was not necessary. Alameda Street was closed in both directions between Florence Avenue and Gage Avenue.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.