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Explosion Rocks LA Apartment Building

Firefighters are at work around the smoking remains of a large residential building near Los Angeles. A large explosion rocked the aparment building in the Encino area of the San Fernando Valley. The late morning blast broke windows in nearby apartment buildings, and ripped out the walls at the rear of the building involved. One neighborhood resident tells local T-V the blast “sounded like an earthquake.”

Top floor units appear heavily damaged. And debris is scattered in a pool and around the building. Officials say more than 100 firefighters and a dozen ambulances have been dispatched. Firefighters are spraying the building from several sides. A fires spokesman tells a radio station that one side of the building looks “like a bomb was dropped on it.”

There were no immediate reports on whether anyone was injured in the explosion and fire about 11 a.m. About 135 firefighters and a dozen ambulances were dispatched to the area at the southern end of the San Fernando Valley, where large apartment and condominium buildings are tightly packed near U.S.Highway 101. Firefighters on rooftops of neighboring buildings trained their water hoses into the building where the fire was subsiding to white smoke by noon.