Drapery fireproofing business victim of arson twice in four days

A longtime drapery fireproofing business in Glendale has been the victim of arson twice in less than a week.

In a span of four days, small fires were discovered inside Fabric Flameproofing in the 800 block of West Milford Street, prompting the business owner to be concerned about possible foul play.

But police said the separate arson incidents were likely caused by transients or burglars. Still, there have been no arrests made in connection with the incidents.

Police didn’t recover any evidence indicating chemicals were used to accelerate the fires, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said. Instead, he said police found evidence that the fires were put out with an extinguisher.

In the first incident on Dec. 31, it appeared someone pried open the front door and ignited several curtain pieces and a panel of wood, Lorenz said.

The items were stacked in a pile in the middle of the warehouse’s floor and appeared to have been put out with a fire extinguisher, he added.

Then on Jan. 4, a security guard reportedly discovered a cloth on fire inside a cabinet. Police later found entry marks on the rear door of the business.

Police again found evidence that someone extinguished the blaze before exiting, Lorenz said.

Glendale transients, Lorenz said, may have broken into the warehouse for shelter, and in an attempt to get warm, they started a fire.

They have entered abandoned warehouses in the past and started fires to keep warm, he added.

Another possibility is that fires were started by burglars who were looking for something to steal, Lorenz said.

Someone reportedly pried the hinges off one of the business’ doors on Dec. 28 and stole four spray-paint cans and keys, according to police.

The incidents prompted the business owner, Jonathan Curtsinger, to hire a security guard, according to police reports.

Still, the two arson incidents and a separate break-in indicates “there is more to this than meets the eye,” Curtsinger’s attorney, Benjamin Reznik, said.

Curtsinger, he said, “is very curious there may be more to this than homeless people next door.”

The family-owned flameproofing business opened 60 years ago in the city and specializes in applying fire-retardant products on massive drapery used by the entertainment industry, restaurants, schools and churches.

Police plan to step up patrols in the neighborhood following the incidents, Lorenz said.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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