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Massive blaze in Westlake started after suspect in disturbance call began lighting fires, police say

Firefighters stand on the roof of an apartment building as flames and smoke pour out of it
Firefighters battle a fire at a two-story apartment building in Westlake on Thursday evening.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
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One person was arrested Thursday at the scene of a massive fire at a two-story apartment building in Westlake, police said.

Officers arrived at the building in the 2800 block of 7th Street about 3 p.m. in response to a report of a disturbance, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

As police were talking with the person who reported the incident, they were told that someone inside was lighting things on fire.

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The suspect eventually left the building and was arrested, but police did not say what offenses the person was suspected of committing.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said a 45-year-old man in police custody had been taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The explosion was reported at 4 p.m. at the three-story science building at 923 Bloom Walk on the University of Southern California campus.

Jan. 26, 2023

The blaze, which spread through the second floor and attic, was mostly extinguished within 53 minutes by more than 100 firefighters, Fire Department officials said.

Video footage from KTLA-TV Channel 5 showed firefighters on the roof of the apartment building as flames roared around them.

Fire crews remained on the scene working to extinguish the last small pockets still burning.

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