Fire Guts Boarded-Up Apartment Building

Times Staff Writer

Fire swept through a large, boarded-up apartment building just southwest of MacArthur Park late Friday, sending flames high into the air and briefly threatening several adjacent buildings.

Search-and-rescue teams dashed into the still-flaming two-story Victorian building to search for possible victims, but officials said the building appeared to have been abandoned.

More than 60 firefighters were on the scene within three minutes after the blaze was reported at 8:38 p.m., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. The fire was brought under control within 20 minutes, and no injuries were reported, Humphrey said.

Neighboring buildings at Olympic Boulevard and Arapahoe Street, a heavily populated immigrant neighborhood, were not affected, Humphrey said.

"The home was boarded up, but you never know if someone lived there or was squatting," Humphrey said. He said the search would continue through portions of the building where ceiling beams had collapsed.

The building predated fire codes, and flames moved swiftly through the empty spaces inside the walls, Humphrey said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department has sent 55 engines to join the fight against wildfires from San Diego to Ventura County.

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