Arson investigators believe the Venice Pier caught on fire after a homeless man tried to tap into an electrical line

Arson investigators from the Los Angeles City Fire Department are still looking for the person responsible for the June 26 fire that closed down the Venice Pier for several days.

LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey clarified that investigators believe that the fire was caused by a single homeless man attempting to access electricity under the pier and not a homeless encampment living there, as had been previously reported.

Firefighters received a call at approximately 4:37 a.m. reporting flames at the pier, said LAFD spokeswoman Margaret Stewart, and found “a 15-foot section of the pier that was well involved in the fire.”

The fire ultimately damaged a 40-foot section of the pier and forced its temporary closure. The Los Angeles City Council approved $5 million on June 27 to repair and reopen the 1,300-foot pier in time for the July 4 holiday.

The pier was built in 1963, and city officials have been planning to make seismic upgrades to it.     

— Gary Walker