Arson suspect arrested following massive East Hollywood apartment fire

and ABC7.com staff
Monday, June 12, 2017 05:17PM
An arson suspect was arrested after a massive fire broke out at an apartment construction site in East Hollywood early Monday morning.


EAST HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES - An arson suspect was arrested after a massive fire broke out at an apartment construction site in East Hollywood early Monday morning.

Two three-story apartment buildings in the 400 block of N. Heliotrope Drive burned fiercely before firefighter doused the flames with water. The buildings were in the wood-frame stage of construction.

A one-story home and a neighboring apartment building also incurred some damage.

One firefighter was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries after being hit by debris. She was reported to be in good condition.

Authorities said 10 adults and 10 children were displaced due to the blaze. They were being assisted by the American Red Cross.

The blaze, which was initially reported shortly after 6 a.m., appeared to be mostly knocked down around 7 a.m.

One man, later identified as 20-year-old Benicio Garcia, was detained by arson investigators after police found him holding a lighter. He was soon arrested and booked for arson, and was being held on $75,000 bail.

Neighbors said Garcia is no stranger to neighbors.

Resident Richard Prendergast believes the man was associated with other small fires within the past few days.

"He's known in the block here. We don't know exactly where he lives, but he shows up here almost on a daily basis," he said.

The cause of the fire was remained under investigation.
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