A fire damaged a five-story housing complex under construction in East Los Angeles Wednesday, along with a historic theater building and a house, and a “person of interest” was detained in connection with the investigation.
Firefighters responded to the area of Rowan Avenue and First Street at about 1 a.m. and encountered heavy fire coming from the 62-unit complex, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Video from the scene showed the entire structure engulfed in flames.
A total of 150 firefighters were sent to the scene, the department said.
The building, which had been under construction for 18 months, was supposed to house low-income veterans, the construction superintendent told CBS2. It was three months from being completed and was being planned and managed by a nonprofit group.
The fire was largely extinguished by daybreak, but firefighters were still inspecting the scene after 9 a.m. to determine if there were any smoldering embers, and an official knockdown would not be declared until the inspection was completed, officials said.
The fire also damaged a historic pre-1933 theater building, and a single-story house. Firefighters and sheriff’s deputies evacuated nearby residents, and no one was injured. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
A male teenager was detained for questioning as a “person of interest” in connection with the fire investigation, according to the county fire department.