Firefighting

Arson Investigators Deem Los Angeles Fashion District Fire Suspicious

Small business owners spent the day cleaning up after a fire damaged three stores and thousands of dollars worth of clothing early Saturday morning in the Downtown L.A. Fashion District, reports CBS Los Angeles (http://cbsloc.al/15LWIrw)

Crews were sent around 2:30 a.m. to K-1 Fashion, a fabric store located in the 1400 block of Santee Street, L.A. County Fire Department reported.

Once on scene, firefighters said they encountered a row of one-story commercial buildings and smoke showing in the area.

Due to heavy security measures on stores in the area, it took rotary saws to gain access to the building.

“We had rotary steel doors, scissor gates, heavy steel doors to go through. And it just takes time to get through all that,” L.A. Fire Department Battalion Chief David Perez said.

According to firefighters, flames were seen shooting 20 to 30 feet in the air, and it did not take long for the fire to burn through the roof of the building.

Authorities explained the fire started near fabric samples located in the rear of the store.

Crews were able to contain the fire damage to the fabric store.

Firefighters explained arson dogs were brought to the scene, and picked up on some materials for possible accelerants.

According to LAFD arson investigators, the materials are being sent away for testing. It will take several days before they know what started the fire.