Environment & Science

EPA begins $3M cleanup at site of Maywood magnesium fire

In this file photo, fire officials survey the damage from a massive Maywood industrial fire from the top of a garage on 52nd Avenue, which backs up to an industrial park that burned for 30 hours starting on June 14, 2016. The EPA warned residents of Maywood on Monday that clearing out hazardous debris from the fire site may send noxious odors into nearby neighborhoods.
In this file photo, fire officials survey the damage from a massive Maywood industrial fire from the top of a garage on 52nd Avenue, which backs up to an industrial park that burned for 30 hours starting on June 14, 2016. The EPA warned residents of Maywood on Monday that clearing out hazardous debris from the fire site may send noxious odors into nearby neighborhoods.
Elizabeth Aguilera/KPCC
In this file photo, fire officials survey the damage from a massive Maywood industrial fire from the top of a garage on 52nd Avenue, which backs up to an industrial park that burned for 30 hours starting on June 14, 2016. The EPA warned residents of Maywood on Monday that clearing out hazardous debris from the fire site may send noxious odors into nearby neighborhoods.
The aftermath of the Maywood fire on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
Los Angeles County Fire Department
In this file photo, fire officials survey the damage from a massive Maywood industrial fire from the top of a garage on 52nd Avenue, which backs up to an industrial park that burned for 30 hours starting on June 14, 2016. The EPA warned residents of Maywood on Monday that clearing out hazardous debris from the fire site may send noxious odors into nearby neighborhoods.
The aftermath of the Maywood fire on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
Los Angeles County Fire Department
In this file photo, fire officials survey the damage from a massive Maywood industrial fire from the top of a garage on 52nd Avenue, which backs up to an industrial park that burned for 30 hours starting on June 14, 2016. The EPA warned residents of Maywood on Monday that clearing out hazardous debris from the fire site may send noxious odors into nearby neighborhoods.
Neighbors watch a news conference updating efforts to get those displaced by the June 14 Maywood industrial fire back into their homes.
Elizabeth Aguilera/KPCC


The Environmental Protection Agency has begun a weeks-long cleanup at the site of an explosive industrial fire that forced about 300 people from their homes in Los Angeles County last spring.

The EPA warned residents of Maywood on Monday that clearing out hazardous debris may send noxious odors into nearby neighborhoods.

The June fire south of downtown Los Angeles destroyed two commercial buildings, including a metal-recycling plant containing 10,000 pounds of magnesium shavings.

The magnesium erupted in fireball-like explosions when firefighters poured water on the flames. Crews had to use a dry chemical extinguishing agent.

More than 40 homes had to be cleaned up before residents returned.

The EPA says crews are installing a "debris barrier" to block dust from reaching nearby homes during the cleanup, which could cost as much as $3 million.