A California hotel under construction catches fire and sends giant flames near a main highway
A Southern California hotel that was under construction caught fire on Tuesday, sending massive flames near a major thoroughfare and a column of smoke over Ventura County, authorities said.
Just before 7:30 p.m. the Ventura County Fire Department reported the fire on the second floor of the four-story hotel just off the 101 freeway in Camarillo, about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Minutes later, the department said on Twitter that heavy gunfire also spread to the upper floors of the building.
No injuries were immediately reported.
The department said parts of the freeway were briefly closed in both directions due to exposed power lines.
The agency’s spokesperson said the smoke seen drifting over the county was from the blaze, dubbed the Promenade Fire.
Dramatic video captured by drivers on the 101 Freeway showed huge flames appearing to engulf the entire structure just feet from the road.
More images have appeared to show nearby localized fires.
Firefighters have not identified a possible cause.
The Ventura County Star, a local newspaper, reported that the building was part of a development with a convention center, hotels and restaurants.
Sarah Kaufman contributed.