A two-alarm fire broke out in an office building at 8430 Santa Monica Blvd. at Croft Avenue this morning, injuring two firefighters and causing an estimated $2.5 million in damanges. Arson investigators are investigating reports that the blaze was sparked by a firebomb hurled at the building, according to authorities.
Flames and smoke were showing from both floors of the two-story building when the first fire units arrived around 2:30 a.m., said Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Tony Akins. It took 75 firefighters more than an hour to put out the flames, which resulted in “substantial damage to both floors,” Akins told City News Service.
The second-alarm was called at 2:45 a.m. and the flames were out by 3:37 a.m., he said. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries and were transported to a hospital for treatment. Firefighters checked the building twice to be certain no one was inside and could not find anyone, he said.
An arson investigator was called to the scene to determine the cause. A passerby, Mitch Jackson, told ABC7 that he was in the area after having gone to the nearby 7-Eleven store when he saw someone who may have started the blaze. “Walking past, (I) heard glass breaking, and I looked over, and there was a guy throwing what looked to me like firebombs through the window downstairs,” Jackson told Channel 7.
Croft Avenue remains closed this afternoon as bomb squad investigators survey the wreckage. One lane of eastbound Santa Monica Boulevard also is closed near the building. Sheriff’s investigators urged possible witnesses to call arson investigators at (323) 881-7500, or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.