Arson suspected in fires at family’s two Boyle Heights businesses

Fire tape that says Fire Line Do Not Cross in front of a burned-out storefront
Two appliance businesses in Boyle Heights owned by the same family erupted in flames on Tuesday in what authorities are investigating as arson.

Authorities suspect arson after two appliance businesses in Boyle Heights owned by the same family erupted in flames on Tuesday.

The first fire was reported in the 2900 block of East 4th Street around 9:45 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading from the single-story business to an attached home.

A minute after the first fire was officially cleared, a second one broke out in the 1200 block of South Lorena Street at 10:05 a.m. The fire burned refrigerators and other appliances displayed on the sidewalk outside the store and then spread inside, according to the LAFD. Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to a nearby medical clinic.

While there were no reported injuries, the two fires are being jointly investigated by the LAFD and the Los Angeles Police Department’s major crimes division, according to LAFD spokesperson Margaret Stewart.

KTLA-TV reported authorities were searching for a suspect described as a man about 5 feet, 6 inches tall with a shaved head and brown eyes. An unidentified business owner said the store on Lorena Street has been part of the Boyle Heights neighborhood for 20 years and they don’t understand how these two fires could not be connected.

Another unidentified business owner told KTLA that a man approached the business and threw a flaming object inside. The LAFD would not comment on an ongoing investigation.