Brentwood News
Brentwood Townhome Fire Caused By Arson
By Daniel Antolin
Nov 11, 2011 - 2:18:59 AM

Firefighters tackle townhome fire from all angles. Photo courtesy of LAFD.
BRENTWOOD—On Thursday, November 10, investigators from the Los Angeles Fire Department deduced that arson was the cause of an early morning fire that raged at a large Brentwood townhome development, causing local residents to evacuate their homes.

According to the LAFD, about 160 firefighters aggressively attacked heavy fire when they arrived at the 12315 West Gorham Ave wood-framed development, which was under construction before it was set ablaze. Because of their efforts, firefighters were able to stifle the blaze and put it out in one hour and 39 minutes. They sprayed the fire with hoses, both from the ground and from nearby balconies.

Structural beams of burnt units. Photo courtesy of LAFD.
Four of the development's six units, which were highly combustible when they were engulfed in flames, were severely damaged. A nearby single family home and a small apartment complex took on "significant" damage, displacing 10 families. All that remained at these locations when the fire was extinguished were steel support beams and charred vehicles. A financial estimate of the amount of damage caused is still unknown.

Todd Nathanson, who lives near the scene of the fire, said on his real estate blog, "The heat was so intense, it literally melted away the bumpers on cars parked across the alley. I counted 6 cars that were damaged or destroyed."

"A newer home to the east of the project was extensively damaged and most likely will be uninhabitable for some time," Nathanson said. "The home to the west seemed to come through unscathed, however, the rear portion of at least two apartment buildings along Montana Avenue were not as lucky."

In total, 35 local residents were evacuated from five nearby homes as a precaution. LAFD planned to temporarily house the evacuees about a mile and a half northeast at the Barrington Recreation Center, but this was not necessary as family and friends were able to provide them with shelter. The local Red Cross, the Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks Department and the General Services Department were also on the scene to help out the families.

Neither the displaced locals or firefighters were injured while the fire was burning.

"Was woken up at 4am by a massive fire behind our apartment building in Brentwood which spread to a few units in the back of our structure," said Twitter user salimmitha, who exited his home from an alley. "Luckily firefighters stopped the fire's progress before it got to our unit at the front."

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