A fire that broke out in the 13300 block of Washington Boulevard at Glencoe Avenue around 11:40 p.m. Thursday, January 20th, destroyed at least one business on the second story of a two-story shopping mall, and damaged several others.
The City of Los Angeles Fire Department and Culver City Fire Department responded to the scene shortly after the fire broke out. Eighty fire fighters from both fire departments helped to extinguish the flames.
No injuries were reported due to the fire.
The total damage due to the fire is estimated at $800,000, according to Jim Wells, spokesman for the City of Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).
The fire may have originated in Camp Technique, a fitness center on the second story in the mall, which was destroyed in the blaze, according to Los Angeles Fire Department officials.
Fire department arson detectives were on the scene Friday.
The mall and all businesses are “red tagged,” meaning that no one, including tenants, would be permitted on the site until a building and safety engineer cleared the businesses of any potential hazard, according to the LAFD.
Batiste Gremaud, owner of Marina Dance Center on the ground floor of the mall, was at her business Friday, January 21st.
“The fire department is allowing the tenants 25 minutes to enter our businesses and retrieve important items,” Gremaud said.
Gremaud said that Los Angeles Fire Department officials told her that if she took longer than the allotted 25 minutes, she could be arrested for trespassing.
Tenants whose businesses were more severely damaged were not granted access into their businesses.
“My studio has suffered smoke damage, but no fire or water damage,” said Gremaud.
Gremaud said she was on the phone with her clients Friday morning, canceling all appointments for one week.
Gremaud said that she learned through a friend that the mall, which houses her business, was on fire.
“My friend happened to be driving by the center and she called me to say that the whole building was on fire,” she said.
“I believe there are hidden blessings when things like this happen,” said Gremaud. “Something good will come from this.”