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The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

Aviator News

The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

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Up in Flames!

What Caused the I-10 Fire?
Jeneen Luna Mendez
The fire on the I-10.

Freeways – who doesn’t use them? We use them for easy traveling management. With exits and intersections that lead to the place of your destination, it is inevitable that you’ll end up having to use the freeway. Inside the freeways are the interstates. Some are long, some are short. This one in particular, is super long: the I-10 is the 4th longest interstate in all of the United States, with a surprising 24,600 miles, going from Los Angeles, California to Jacksonville, Florida.

On November 11, reports announced a sudden and mysterious fire that damaged 450 feet of Interstate 10, burning 100 support columns and severely damaging 10. It also took certain construction materials, vehicles, pallets and many more that were built below the overpass. With a fire that bad, one might start to think the bridge would’ve needed to be completely repaired. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, as damage was not enough to cause such a tragedy. As of November 14, the bridge is expected to open in three to five weeks. This is good news due to the fact that the I-10 has an average of about 300,000 vehicles on a daily basis. The fire has affected people everywhere. Hundreds of people use the free ways to get to work. This interstate being closed off is affecting those people. People who usually take the I-10 now have to use other freeways to get to work, causing traffic and filling up the lanes for others who usually take those interstates for their destinations. What would take a person 10 minutes to go to work now takes 40+ minutes to get to work. 

Jeneen Luna Mendez

So what is this “mysterious” fire that managed to damage so much property? Was it a natural fire? A freak accident? Or was it arson? Officials say it’s arson. There’s a man who’s been selected as a main suspect by Cal Fire officials. He’s been described to have immediately left the interstate along with burn marks that appear to be in his left leg. Arson isn’t the only theory that’s surfaced on this mystery. In the freeway overpass, there’s been reports of storage spaces that contained hand sanitizer which is known to be highly flammable. Putting two and two together, one would think an inconvenience and coincidence such as this one worsens the circumstances of the fire. Rudy Serafin, who owns one of the spaces, had 100-125 bottles stored within. As he was being questioned about the incident, he denied the possibility of his storage being responsible for the fire, “My hand sanitizers did not start it. I could tell you where it was. It was literally in the middle of my shop”. Whether or not his supply of hand sanitizer started the fire still remains unclear as there hasn’t been a follow-up from officials.

As of November 20, the freeway officially reopened, just 10 days after the incident was announced. What was expected to take weeks or months took less than a week and a half. Thankfully, everything can go back to normal and hopefully officials will be able to pinpoint who or what exactly caused the fire, and what can be done differently to make sure an incident such as this one doesn’t happen again. 



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About the Contributor
Janeen Luna Mendez
Janeen is the owner of a very fat cat. She is a very free spirit and loves to express herself. She is a Conan Gray enthusiast, and cannot live without music. She is the funniest and very enjoyable to be around. 

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