LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The site of a massive fire at a 1.3-million-square foot apartment complex under construction was being handled Tuesday as a possible crime scene, officials said.
The fire was reported at 1:20 a.m. Monday at the 7-story Da Vinci Complex, located at 906 N. Fremont Avenue in downtown. It also damaged two adjacent high-rises and forced the closure of the 110 Freeway.
“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,” LAFD spokesperson Katherine Maine said.
Arson teams from the Los Angeles city and county fire departments have suspended their investigation until Wednesday when approximately 20 additional agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will try to help them determine the fire’s cause.
Chemists, electrical engineers and explosive experts are among those expected to aid in the investigation.
“They have laboratories and personnel available to us so we are going to make use of every resource available,” LAFD spokesman David Ortiz said.
No one was injured in the fire, but damages were estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
Officials say the fire is suspicious in nature due to its intensity and how rapidly it spread across the 245-unit complex.
“When we go and actually ask for a national response team, it’s because of the amount of money we’re talking and the magnitude of the fire itself,” Capt. Jamie Moore said.
Investigators were searching for video related to the fire and have established a tip line at (213)893-9850.
Firefighters are continuing to extinguish hotspots and a private company has been contracted to assist with demolition efforts to stabilize the structure.