Closed Odyssey Teen Club Hit by Arson Blaze
Flames swept through the recently closed Odyssey nightclub for teen-agers in the West Hollywood area Friday afternoon just after a witness saw a motorist throw what appeared to be an incendiary device through the front window.
The club manager and another man had to flee from the building when the fire broke out.
“This is an incendiary fire,” said Don Mello, Los Angeles Fire Department battalion chief. He said that as a suspect’s car sped away from the controversial nightspot at 8471 Beverly Blvd., another witness saw puddles of gasoline burning on the sidewalk.
The Los Angeles Police Commission voted last month to revoke the Odyssey’s dance permit. The club, just east of the West Hollywood city line, for years has been the target of neighbors’ complaints about alleged drinking, rowdiness, drug use, urinating and sexual activity outside.
Mello said that by the time the first of 11 city and county fire companies arrived shortly after 3 p.m., flames were erupting from the windows and doorway while wind whipped black smoke across Beverly Boulevard. It took nearly half an hour to knock down the fire.
Club manager David Rubinstein, 26, and Kevin Parr, also 26, an employee of another company in the building, were in the office where Rubinstein said he was telling callers that the club was “temporarily closed” when the telephone suddenly went dead.
Rubinstein said he thought someone had forgotten to pay the bill. He opened the office door and black smoke rolled in. The two men escaped through a rear exit to the alley. “We were very lucky,” Rubinstein said.
Damage was estimated at $28,000 to $30,000.
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