Possible arson attack at Ramona Gardens apartments is investigated

Fire at the Ramona Gardens housing complex was reportedly started by Molotov cocktails

Officials are investigating the cause of a fire at a Boyle Heights apartment complex early Monday that was reportedly sparked by Molotov cocktails.

The arson counterterrorism unit of the Los Angeles Fire Department is investigating the blaze, which began at about 12:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of Crusado Lane at the Ramona Gardens housing complex.

The fire was knocked down in eight minutes and all occupants were evacuated safely.

Fox11 reported that the fire started when four apartments were firebombed with Molotov cocktails. Authorities said the attack may have been racially motivated, Fox11 reported.

Fire officials, however, declined to comment on the investigation, which they stressed was still underway. 

The Ramona Gardens complex, which was built in 1941 and has more than 600 apartments, is home to the "Big Hazard" gang, which is purported to have strong gang ties in Mexico.

The gang's presence had discouraged the integration of non-Latinos into the complex, but according to the Boyle Heights Beat newspaper, African American families have been moving in greater numbers into Ramona Gardens, although some still say they experience racism.

In 1992, the apartments of two African American families in Ramona Gardens were firebombed.

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