A ferocious fire in South Los Angeles on Main Street at a commercial property took the life of the owner of the premises, and the business operated from the location. The blaze erupted in a building that the now-deceased owner had used for an extended period of time as a warehouse from which he operated a business trading in mattresses. The presence of mattresses at the location made the fire at the premises extremely intense.
According to a neighboring property owner, the individual who operated his business from the fire-gutted warehouse sometimes slept at the location. That appears to have occurred on the night of the devastating fire, the blaze being initially reported via 911 at around midnight.
Eighty-two firefighters were brought to the scene to battle the blaze. Fortunately, the firefighters were able to get the fire under control and extinguished it in what proved to be a matter of a couple of hours. While engaged in a walk through the remains of the warehouse structure to deal with any possible hotspots, firefighters came upon the remains of the business owner who was killed in the fire.
Arson Investigation Underway
An arson investigation has been initiated. Early evidence suggests that the fire was intentionally set. The Los Angeles Arson-Counter Terrorism Section heads up the investigation. Keep in mind that despite the name of the investigatory agency, an act of terrorism is not thought to be involved in this possible criminal activity.
The Los Angeles Arson-Counter Terrorism Section investigates suspicious fires at the commercial property in South Los Angeles on Main Street under a specific set of circumstances. These include:
- Serious burns
- Fire fatalities
- Large dollar loss
- High profile incidents
- Suspects on the scene or in custody
- Eyewitness to arson
- Fires involving church properties
- Serious burns that may lead to death
Property on the Market for Sale
Prior to the fire, the owner killed in the blaze had put the property on the market for sale. Before the fire, the asking price was over $760,000. The price is undergoing a downward adjustment as a result of the fire.
Having made the notation about the prospect of an understandable downward price adjustment, intelligent speculation is that the ultimate goal of any potential buyer would be to tear down any existing structure on the property for redevelopment. The real estate in question is zoned to permit multiple commercial structures or businesses on the premises. The general neighborhood surrounding the property has seen a movement towards redevelopment and regentrification in more recent times.
Despite the prospect that any structure on the property would be slated for tear-down, the reality is that dealing with the aftermath of a deadly fire presents more obstacles and challenges than plowing down structures. For example, biohazard remediation represents one such potential challenge.
Moreover, the fact that a fire occurred at the property cannot be hidden (nor could it legally be kept away from potential buyers). The fact that a person died in the fire is also notorious. These realities underscore the need for professional intervention like biohazard remediation at the premises.
Los Angeles District Attorney Refers Owner’s Family to Eco Bear for Biohazard Remediation
The Los Angeles District Attorney referred the owner’s family to Eco Bear to address the biohazard remediation issue at the premises. The DA does make such referrals to Eco Bear from time to time.
One of the reasons why the DA makes such referrals to Eco Bear is because of assistance victims of crime can obtain via the California Victim Compensation Board. The Board or CalVCB provides reimbursement for crime scene cleanup up to a dollar amount of $1,709. Remediating biohazards at the site of this fire at which arson is suspected, would qualify for this type of compensation from CalVCB.
Eco Bear has a standing policy of undertaking post-crime cleanup of the type contemplated at the site of the potential arson fire, limiting its fee to what will cover by CalVCB. That is the agreement Eco Bear has made with the property owner’s family who was killed in the South LA warehouse blaze.
Filing for CalVCB Claim
Finally, the process for filing for a cleanup or remediation claim with CalVCB is relatively simple:
- Gather necessary documentation: Collect all relevant documents, such as police reports, medical records, and any other evidence related to the crime scene cleanup.
- Complete the application: Fill out the application form the California Victim Compensation Board provided. Ensure to provide accurate and detailed information about the incident and the expenses incurred for the cleanup.
- Submit supporting documents: Attach copies of all supporting documents, including receipts, invoices, and any other evidence that verifies the expenses you incurred for the crime scene cleanup. Eco Bear assists in gathering supporting materials, including photos and videos of the premises needing remediation.
- Follow up with the California Victim Compensation Board: After applying, regularly check the status of your claim with the board. You may need to provide additional information or answer any questions they have.
- Await compensation decision: The California Victim Compensation Board will review your application and supporting documents. Once a decision is made, they will notify you regarding the outcome of your claim and any compensation for which you may be eligible.