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.