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Suspicious Fire Destroys Vacant Westchester Building

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 |

WESTCHESTER - Transients escape as fire consumes vacant auto dealership.

Suspicios Fire Destroys Vacant Westchester Building

At 2:27 am the Los Angeles Fire department and the Los Angeles County Fire Department were called to 5208 West Centinela Avenue. Arriving fire companies were met with thick black smoke and flames billowing from a two story commercial structure. Three squatters were immediately spotted and rescued from the roof of the burning structure. After descending the fire department ladders the unidentified civilians fled the scene.

An aggressive interior fire attack ensued. Firefighters were quickly driven back by the intensity of the blaze. A coordinated retreat was ordered and a transition to a defensive exterior attack continued.

166 Firefighters under the command of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas battled this intense and stubborn fire. A partial roof collapse trapping flames beneath heavy debris made containment extremely challenging. A methodical and systematic approach completely extinguished the fire in three hours.

The fire was confined to a 6,500 square foot building. Although threatened by flames an adjacent 6,000 square foot building was saved.

No injuries were reported.

The cause of this suspicions early morning blaze remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson Counter Terrorism Section. The dollar loss was estimated at $500,000 for the structure, there were no contents.

LAFD Dispatched units: E5 T5 E205 RA5 E295 E95 T95 RA95 E51 EM9 BC4 BC18 E67 E266 E66 T66 E294 E94 T94 DC1 EM13 BC13 T27 E227 E27 UR27 UR88 BC5 BC9 BC11 E64 E263 T63 RA66 RA34 AR2 AR7 AR17
22 additional units were dispatched from the LACoFD

 Submitted by Katherine Main, Spokesperson Los Angeles Fire Department


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