Investigators Call Big LA Fire Arson

Work at the scene has finished, ATF Special Agent in Charge Carlos A. Canino said, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The investigation by members of the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section and the National Response Team of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been completed, and they determined the big Dec. 8, 2014, fire at the city’s Da Vinci Apartment Complex was arson.

The fire at 900 West Temple Street destroyed the seven-story complex under construction and damaged a nearby high-rise structures and the Harbor (110) Freeway. "Investigators recovered sufficient evidence to eliminate all known potential accidental causes and determine the fire was intentionally set. The fire caused an estimated $20 million to $30 million in damage to the Da Vinci Apartments. Total damage estimates to nearby businesses and Caltrans property remain undetermined at this time," the LAFD reported.

The department's news release said investigators sifted through 75,000 square feet of debris, took photographs and conducted interviews, and recovered potential evidence from the scene for analysis by ATF's National Laboratory. The ATF contingent included a canine team, certified fire investigators, a forensic chemist, electrical and fire protection engineers, and additional specialists.

"The work at the crime scene is finished, however, our investigation is not over," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Carlos A. Canino "ATF will continue to work together with our state and local partners to investigate this crime and bring those responsible to justice."

Investigators are still seeking information on two potential witnesses seen in video footage taken the morning of Dec. 8, but those individuals are not considered suspects or persons of interest.

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