Evacuation conducted at commercial building in South L.A. after as many as 40 found living in 'deplorable' conditions

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dozens of people were evacuated Friday morning from a building in South Los Angeles, where they had been living in a structure that was not zoned for residential use.

One fire official described the living conditions as "deplorable." Upwards of 40 people were living in the building without running water or electricity and rooms filled with trash. It has since been cleared an boarded up.

Los Angeles firefighters and police officers responded to the 800 block of West 57th Street about 6:45 a.m., a Fire Department spokesperson said. The joint operation was conducted in coordination with the office of Councilman Curren Price and the Department of Social Services.

"We can't tolerate this kind of situation. Anybody, any place, anywhere," said Price. "It's just embarrassing, it's a heartbreak and it's unbelievable that these kinds of conditions exist in our city."

Amelda Glaspie lived in the building for a year and would pay rent to their landlord who lives next door.

"They gave us shelter. We weren't sleeping in our car or sleeping downtown," said Glaspie. "And a lot of people had their kids and they would come here. And it was, you know, safety."

Temporary housing has been secured for 30 people so far.

"Obviously our biggest concern all the time is the safety of all the residents of Los Angeles," LAFD Capt. Branden Silverman said in an interview at the scene. "I'm happy to say that these people will have somewhere to go tonight. We're working with multiple agencies to make sure they have temporary housing."

No injuries or citations were reported.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.