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 Four Additional Victims Found Deceased Following Major Emergency Fire in Westlake

 Los Angeles – Following Monday night’s Major Emergency Structure fire at 2411 W. 8th St., highly-trained Human Remains Detection dogs, and their handlers, made the tragic discovery on Tuesday of four additional deceased victims inside the burned out building. 

The four adult victims, two men and two women, were found early Tuesday afternoon by a team of three detection dogs amid the rubble on the second floor of the building. A fifth male victim was found deceased by firefighters while battling the blaze on Monday night.

All five victims appear to be transients.  The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) was summoned at 7:01 p. m. to a structure fire at the vacant two-story office building in the Westlake neighborhood just south of MacArthur Park. While extending hose lines to battle the flames when they arrived, firefighters using ground ladders rescued three people from second story windows. One of those victims was transported to a local hospital and the other two were treated and released on scene. 

More than 145 LAFD personnel battled the Major Emergency blaze for two hours and 22 minutes before a knockdown was declared. The building was heavily damaged by fire and smoke and due to the heavy fire load and dangerous interior and roof conditions, LAFD members were forced into defensive firefighting operations not long after they began battling the blaze. 

A possible arson suspect was detained at the scene and transported to a local hospital for a medical evaluation.  The LAFD requests the public’s assistance in the prevention of tragedies such as this by notifying the Department of Building and Safety through the 311 system and/or LADBS.org of any vacant and open buildings. 

The LAFD will assist in this effort by having our firefighters survey every fire station district for vacant and open building and refer them to LADBS to be secured.