Downtown Los Angeles fire: 110 North reopens; cleanup continues

BySid Garcia, Q McCray and staff KABC logo
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Downtown LA fire: 110 N reopens; cleanup continues
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All lanes of the northbound 110 Freeway have reopened in downtown L.A. as crews continued to clean up Monday's massive fire.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- All lanes of the northbound 110 Freeway reopened in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday morning as crews continued to clean up the massive fire that broke out at a seven-story apartment complex under construction.

Overnight, crews tore down scaffolding around the charred rubble and cleaned up anything that could be a safety risk.

"The concerns are the possibility of collapse. There's a lot of freestanding framework that is still up that has not collapsed," said David Ortiz with the Los Angeles City Fire Department. "The danger or fear the department has is some of that might fall on pedestrians. That's the reason we have it sealed off."

The fire erupted around 1:20 a.m. Monday at the Da Vinci complex on the 900 block of West Temple Street, damaging at least two adjacent city-owned buildings and shutting down the busy 110 and 101 freeways.

Most of the Da Vinci apartment building was destroyed by the fire. Firefighters were still dousing hot spots at the scene early Tuesday morning.

The bulk of the fire was knocked down after about 90 minutes, but it took several hours to control the fire. At its peak, 250 firefighters were on scene.

Flames spread across the 110 Freeway, damaging highway signs and melting the asphalt. Scaffolding from the construction site fell onto the freeway.

PHOTOS: 2 fires light up Los Angeles night sky

There were no reports of injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. A team of nearly 20 arson investigators from the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were to begin inspecting the site on Wednesday.

"When you look at all seven stories, it totals up to 1.3 million square feet that we have to canvas to determine where the fire originated and what was the cause," said Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Jaime Moore.

According to the fire department, part of the block-long apartment complex construction site will be salvageable.

"The concrete, which was very resistant to the fire, still remains mostly unaffected by the fire, but the five stories above it obviously a total loss," Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz said.

The 1.3-million-square-foot Da Vinci apartment building had been under construction for several months. There was about $10 million in damage related to the apartment building alone, according to a preliminary estimate on Monday.

As crews were fighting the fire in downtown, another blaze erupted about eight blocks away at a commercial building in Westlake District.

Officials say there's no information at this time to indicate that the two fires are related, but they say it is "ironic."

"Within hours of this fire, we had another fire, so our arson investigators are on the alert. They're taking that into consideration," said LAPD Capt. Jaime Moore.

Chards of glass were still falling from the windows of the north Figueroa Plaza Tower as inspectors assess the damage. City employees were escorted by firefighters up to their offices to retrieve what they need to continue their work.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging lost 2,000 gift bags for seniors. Their office was located on the third floor of the building that was damaged.

"We're a little heartbroken, but we're sort of getting ourselves back with the sunlight, and I'm sure that with the generosity of city employees and others in the community we'll be able to put the bags back," said department general manager Laura Trejo.

Trejo has set up a fund to accept cash donations. For more information, visit and You can also donate at

Anyone with information about the fires was asked to call (213) 893-9850.