LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — A special national team of federal agents and specialists has flown into Los Angeles to help the Fire Department investigate the cause of a storage facility fire in Venice.
Carlos A. Canino, who heads the Los Angeles office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), says the team provides additional resources, expertise and will expedite the investigation so people can get into their units at Extra Space Storage.
The blaze erupted Saturday and hundreds of firefighters fought it for more than 14 hours. Eight firefighters suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports Canino says the fire resulted in an initial estimate of $2 million in damages, wiping out rows of storage units or causing smoke and water damage.
“They’re gonna look behind every nook and cranny, “We have a canine accelerant [detection] dog that’s going around.”
Venice artist James Scotty Todd was hoping he could retrieve his music recordings and about 14 years worth of paintings from the facility.
“I have about 100 canvasses. Some of them framed. A lot of them rolled up five by five,” Todd told CBS2/KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen.
But tenants will have to likely wait a couple more days before they can access the units – some of which could be opened by investigators.
“This is technically a crime scene and we don’t want anybody in the building itself until we’ve ruled out all possible causes of this fire,” said LAFD Battalion Chief Robert Nelson.
The ATF team typically activates on large or high-profile fires, including the 1993 World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings.
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