Fire Crews Continue Cleanup Of Compton Pallet Yard Fire That Destroyed 3 Homes

The cleanup continued Thursday for a massive pallet yard fire that sent flames and plumes of thick black smoke into the Compton sky on Wednesday.

Video Transcript

- The day after that devastating pallet yard fire rocked a Compton community. Several homes were lost. And as you can see right there, firefighters are still putting out many hotspots. And now, many members of that community are trying to figure out what their next move might be now that they can't go home.

- Yeah, KCAL9's Rachel Kim spoke with one family who thought their mother was trapped in the flames.

RACHEL KIM: On Thursday, the cleanup continued for a massive pallet yard fire that sent flames and plumes of thick black smoke into the Compton sky on Wednesday.

- Look at the intense flames spitting out of that shed. Whoa! And an explosion!

RACHEL KIM: Firefighters were concerned about sporadic explosions and the possibly dangerous materials burning at the site. This as gusty winds carried embers which ignited fires at homes nearby. The blaze destroyed at least three homes and damaged others, some along North Rose Avenue

JANICE IRVING: I'm speechless. I don't want to lose my composure, but it's hard to contain.

RACHEL KIM: 82-year-old Janice Irving is legally blind, so she can't see much of what happened to her home of 52 years. Her sister tells us there's a lot of smoke and water damage on the inside, and some fire damage on the outside.

NILA HAGAN: We got lot of wires down in the back burning on the exterior. A hole in the roof they had to do with [INAUDIBLE]. They were still burning today, and we called them back out. [? Kent ?] noticed it, and called them back out on the back corner of the house.

RACHEL KIM: Miss Irving's neighbors thought she was in her bedroom when this fire was raging behind her house. So when firefighters got here, they took down this metal fence, then the metal bars on her bedroom windows to make sure she wasn't trapped.

NILA HAGAN: I was happy that she wasn't in there.

RACHEL KIM: Irving happened to be out of town when the fire broke out. This retired Air Force veteran is thankful.

JANICE IRVING: But there are moments that I'm here totally alone because I can't afford a caretaker as much as I need one.

NILA HAGAN: I'm just so grateful that she's the matriarch of the family. She's everything to us.

RACHEL KIM: Fortunately, there were no reports of any injuries as a result of this pallet yard fire. The cause is still under investigation. As for Irving, she'll be staying with family for at least the next couple of weeks. But for now--

NILA HAGAN: She wants to sit in the sun in the yard and be close to her house that she's been in for 50 years.

RACHEL KIM: Rachel Kim, KCAL9 News.