L.A. Fire Deemed ‘Criminal Fire’ By Los Angeles Fire Department

The L.A. fire that engulfed an apartment building tower that is larger than a city block is now being treated as a “criminal fire.”

Los Angeles Fire Captain Jaime Moore said roaring blazes of “this magnitude” are always treated as criminal fires, but added that it is extremely rare for an entire building to become engulfed in flames all at once. Arson investigators will examine the building leveled in the L.A. fire once the blaze has been extinguished.

“There may have been some foul play,” Captain Moore added.

Dogs trained to detect accelerants are now at the scene of the Los Angeles fire.

Flames from the enormous fire could reportedly be spotted for many miles away from DaVinci apartment complex. Numerous L.A. roads and freeways were closed as a result of the blaze. The Los Angeles fire melted freeway signs and burst windows on buildings located near the apartment complex.

“It looked like a bomb had just exploded,” L.A. Fire Department Captain Rick Godinez said.

The DaVinci apartment complex fire also caused damage to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. As the intense heat from the L.A. fire cracked more than 150 10-feet high and 4-foot-wide windows at the municipal building, officials scrambled to relocate workers and board up the openings while keeping services flowing to customers in the Los Angeles area.

More than 250 L.A. firefighters fought the DaVinci apartment complex blaze. The housing facility encompassed approximately 1.3 million square feet of floor space. Two thirds of the building was consumed by flames. The apartment complex was located approximately 100 yards away from a downtown fire station.

“When they came out of the quarters they could see it was fully engulfed. It was a building under construction in the framing phase. Almost 1 million square feet and a city block,” L.A. Fire Department representative Katherine Main said.

Los Angeles firefighters were able to extinguish about 90 percent of the fire in 90 minutes, but hot spots kept the first responders extremely busy throughout Monday morning. No injuries have been reported as a result of one of the largest blazes in the city’s history. Arson investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are now on scene and aiding local arson technicians to determine the origin of the L.A. fire.

Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Tuft said, “It reminded me of the 80s. When you got that bare wood, it burns – it burns good.”

Flames from the L.A. fire climbed more than 40 feet above the seven-story DaVinci apartment building.

[Image via: Los Angeles Times]