Arson suspected in fire at L.A. City Hall, officials say

LA City Hall at night, lit up red, yellow and green.
A file photo of City Hall. Police believe someone threw an object through a window Saturday night, starting a fire that damaged an office.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Fire Department’s arson team is investigating a fire that occurred Saturday night on the second floor of City Hall, authorities said.

Police believe that someone may have started the fire by throwing an unknown object through a window in the building.

“Initially it appears a suspect outside of City Hall threw an object ... into the office, breaking the window and causing the fire,” said Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson Officer Warren Moore. There was damage inside one of the offices, he said.


The fire alarm on the second floor was activated at 8 p.m. Saturday, Moore said.

Firefighters were quickly dispatched to the building at 200 N. Spring St., LAFD spokesperson Margaret Stewart said. The building’s fire sprinkler was activated, and when firefighters responded, they found “a large amount of water in the main hallway” and entered an office “where they saw what appeared to be possible suspicious ignition,” she said.

The fire had already been extinguished by the sprinkler system when the LAFD arrived, Stewart said.

The fire started in the office of Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso, Moore said. Tso confirmed there was a fire in her office but said she was unable to speak further because the investigation was ongoing.

LAFD responders cleared water from the first and second floors of the building, Stewart said. Members of the department’s arson section also responded to the scene, Stewart said.

She said she couldn’t comment on what kind of object had been thrown through the window because of the ongoing arson investigation.

Numerous blower fans were set up in and around the affected office suite on Sunday morning, drying carpets. A boarded-up windowpane was visible from the south lawn of City Hall.