An early morning inferno destroyed a large apartment building under construction and severely damaged two nearby high-rise buildings.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 1:20 AM on December 8th, 2014 to 906 North Fremont Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, where firefighters arrived quickly to find heavy fire showing from a 200' x 900' seven story building under construction. Two stories were concrete while the remaining 5 floors were exposed lumber.
The massive blaze could be seen from all over the city and 50 foot flames lengths caused the closure of all North bound lanes of the 110 Freeway.
250 Firefighters under the command of Deputy Chief Joseph Castro battled the fire defensively utilizing large hose streams from the ground and aerial ladders from above. The intensity of the flames quickly ignited several floors of a 16 story adjacent high-rise. Although Firefighters battled intensely, 221 North Figueroa was heavily damaged. Another building located at 313 North Figueroa threatened by fire was saved by the hard work of Firefighters.
The bulk of the fire was knocked down in just over 90 minutes. Firefighters managed flair-up and worked with LAFD bulldozers for nearly 24 hours to fully extinguish the deep seeded smoldering lumber.
In the wake of this Major Emergency structure fire, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section requested the assistance of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team (NRT) to aid in the cause investigation.
Due to the extensive damage and the significant monetary losses, the LAFD asked the ATF to activate the NRT. As a result, approximately 20 ATF agents and specialists will arrive in Los Angeles to join LAFD Arson investigators and local ATF special agents at the scene.
The investigation will begin when all Agencies and Investigators are present, it is anticipated this will be Wednesday December 10, 2014.
UPDATE (December 9, 2014 at noon by Erik Scott): Requested ATF agents who will assist LAFD Arson Investigators are expected to arrive Wednesday, Dec 10th, and will begin their investigation on Wednesday or Thursday.
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