Burning Chili Peppers Add to Challenge for LA Firefighters

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles officials say a large quantity of red chili peppers burned during a fire at a downtown strip mall, adding an extra irritant to the smoky blaze.

Firefighters reported burning sensations in their eyes and throats from the charred peppers.

Officials said Monday that a produce supplier, party supply store and other units were gutted.

City fire spokeswoman Margaret Stewart says nobody was hurt Sunday when flames sent a huge plume of smoke into the sky.

Nearly 200 firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours. The cause is under investigation.