Investigation continues at deadly Echo Park apartment fire

A member of the Mayor’s Crises Response Team with a resident on Bonnie Brae

Narrow Bonnie Brae Street was jammed this morning with fire trucks and news crews in the wake of last night’s deadly apartment house fire that left two people dead and resulted in the evacuation of about two dozen residents.

No official word yet on what caused the blaze that has been described as suspicious by the L.A. Fire Department. But arson investigators were  working on the property this morning where the two-story apartment building, located at the back of the lot at 1027-1029 Bonnie Brae, caught fire at about 12:15 a.m. today.  The department was also reviewing to see if the structure was in compliance with building and fire codes, said LAFD spokesman  Jamie Moore said.  The century-old home was originally built as a four-bedroom house but had been carved up into 11 apartments, some as small as only 200-square-feet without bathrooms or kitchens, he said.

“When you have a Victorian [home] like this that’s been chopped up … it’s almost like a maze, ” Moore said.

Members of the Mayor’s Crises Response Team were also on the scene talking to residents.

Monica P. Diaz, a spokeswoman with the Los Angeles branch of the American Red Cross, said the agency was working with the landlord to handle the emergency needs of the tenants. “Fortunately, the landlord provided emergency housing immediately after the fire,” Diaz said via email.

Fire trucks on Bonnie Brae. Fire gutted a building located behind the structures seen above.


  1. My apartment building is inspected every few years and I pay an annual code enforcement fee. This is the problem with code enforcement. The good landlords comply and pay and the slumlords continue to rent out illegal, unsafe, and sometimes deadly units. I am truly sorry for these tenants and hope the city cracks down on slumlords.

  2. I’m so sorry people lost their lives! And if it was due to arson, it’s particularly tragic. I have been wanting to contact the Eastsider on this arson issue in Echo Park since my car was torched, while parked, at the end of October. A total loss, no coverage, and tho it’s embarrassing to mention it in the same breath as this apt catastrophe I have been concerned since it happened abt the potential loss of life with this sort of criminal activity.
    My neighbor’s wooden stair railing was also set on fire, and the people living upstairs there have bars on their windows. What if they hadn’t spotted it and put it out? I know of other fires in our neighborhood, and when I called the local police and fire dept and was rudely dismissed, then called the police again to protest and was told they’d call me back and they never did, I gave up trying to help notify the “authorities” of this disturbing trend in our neighborhood. At least I can tell somebody here.

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