It took 36 firefighters only 20 minutes to knock down flames that erupted Sunday night inside a two-story building on Windward Avenue, damaging a tobacco and gift shop next door to the historic Townhouse Venice & Del Monte Speakeasy.
Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators moved nearly as fast, declaring on Tuesday that the fire was intentionally set and arresting an arson suspect that same day. The suspect was not identified at press time.
“We have determined the cause of the fire to be [an] incendiary,” Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said. “The LAFD considers the crime of arson to be the most egregious crime committed in the city of Los Angeles. The LAFD will utilize all of our resources to investigate and prosecute the responsible parties for any arson crimes.”
Los Angeles city firefighters from stations in Venice, Mar Vista and Playa Vista responded to the fire, which began at 7:43 p.m. at 54 Windward Ave.
“Due to firefighters aggressive actions the flames were extinguished before anyone was injured,” Scott said.