Photo by John Schreiber.

Arson charges were filed Wednesday against a 20-year-old man accused of setting a fire at an apartment complex that was being built southeast of Hollywood.

Benicio Garcia could face up to 12 years and four months in state prison if convicted of two counts each of arson of an inhabited structure and arson of a structure, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Garcia was detained at the scene of the blaze and later booked on suspicion of arson, said Los Angeles police Officer Mike Lopez.

It took firefighters about 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze, which broke out in the 400 block of North Heliotrope Drive shortly after 6 a.m. Monday and was listed as “suspicious and incendiary,” according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Amy Bastman.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital, she said.

Intense heat from the fire blew out some windows of the adjacent apartment building, which was occupied. A garage and a house were also damaged, and the American Red Cross provided assistance to 10 adults and 10 children displaced due to the fire, the LAFD reported.

–City News Service

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