LOS ANGELES, California — Arson has been confirmed as the cause of a massive, historic fire that destroyed the Da Vinci apartment complex in downtown Los Angeles last week.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) issued a joint statement determining that the fire was caused by an incendiary device, or intentionally set. Since the investigation is ongoing, specific information regarding the crime will not yet be released.
“The work at the crime scene is finished, however our investigation is not over,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge, Carlos A. Canino. “[The] ATF will continue to work together with our state and local partners to investigate this crime and bring those responsible to justice.”
The fire is estimated to have cost anywhere between $20 to $30 million in damages. It took 250 LAFD firefighters to put out the flames, which engulfed all seven stories of the building, in under two hours.
Battalion Chief Robert Nelson, head of the LAFD’s Arson and Counter-Terrorism Section, said, “Arson is a serious crime and we will use all of our available resources to arrest and prosecute any individuals involved in any arson fire in Los Angeles.”
Investigators are still seeking information and help from the public in identifying two people caught on surveillance video at the scene of last week’s massive conflagration. On Thursday, the LAFD again told the public that they view the two men as potential witnesses to the crime and wish to interview them for leads that could lead to a potential arrest.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAFD Arson Section directly at (213) 893-9850.
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