CALIFORNIA— In the early hours of July 14, LAFD firefighters battled and extinguished a fire threatening several businesses in downtown L.A.
At 3:56 A.M., LAFD responded to a greater alarm structure fire located at 803 W Chavez Ave. Firefighters arrived to find a row of one-story commercial units with fire showing. Assistant Chief Timothy Ernst led 83 firefighters in an aggressive coordinated attack. A portion of the firefighters battled the flames inside the origin of the fire, ‘Red Wing Shoes’. Other firefighters went to the roof of the commercial unit structure to prevent the spread to other units through a shared attic.
The 5,150 square feet commercial unit, built in 1921, housed Sorrento Liquor, Red Wing Shoe Store, dental clinic Duong UT DDS, and Evan Pharmacy. The shared common attic would have provided the fire with, “an easy path to extend across the entire structure unimpeded,” the LAFD said in a statement, and added, “Had the fire been allowed to run the attic and involve the entire structure, it would have exposed numerous other buildings, putting them all at risk”
By 4:30 A.M., LAFD reported the responders had made good progress against the blaze, although the fire had partially spread into the shared attic. 18 minutes later, the LAFD reported the fire was extinguished with no injuries and that a potential suspect was being detained by LAPD.
Ultimately, the fire damage was contained to the fire’s origin, ‘Red Wing Shoes’. Adjacent units only sustained limited water and smoke damage due to the minimal attic involvement in the fire.
LAFD’s Arson section and LAPD both questioned the potential suspect on the scene before release. The cause of the fire is still under active investigation.