Exclusive: Del Rey Neighborhood In Constant Fear Of Fires Started In Nearby Homeless Encampment

One resident has been documenting just how often and how close the fires get to people's properties in his Alberta Street neighborhood. 

Exclusive: Del Rey Neighborhood In Constant Fear Of Fires Started In Nearby Homeless Encampment

DEL REY (CBSLA) – Residents of a Del Rey neighborhood say they are living in constant fear of fires being set not far from their homes in a homeless encampment along the 90 Freeway.

“The other night, our neighbors down the block had, like, a raging inferno behind their house,” said Del Rey resident Colin Ryan.

Ryan has been documenting just how often and how close the fires get to people’s properties in his Alberta Street neighborhood.

“In the last three or four months, it’s been almost every week,” Stina Badour, who lives in the same neighborhood, said. “They come and they put the fire out and then they leave, and then two days later, it’s another fire.”

The residents’ backyards are a front row seat to a dangerous show of fires at the homeless encampment just feet away, across the creek, below the 90 Freeway.

“It’s not that they live there. It’s not that they’re homeless. We understand that they have nowhere to go. The main issue is they are a constant danger to our neighborhood and we keep calling and it just continues to happen. It’s a cycle over and over again,” Ryan said.

His concern is shared by many residents across the city. This summer, the Los Angeles Fire Department release data showing the number of fires involving the homeless tripled in the past three years.

Ryan said firefighters and California Highway Patrol are quick to respond, but he’s looking for a longer term solution.

“We know these people don’t have anywhere to go and that’s ultimately the issue here, but you know it’s this balance of trying to protect your neighbors, your own neighborhood, your own property, and make sure they’re safe as well,” Ryan said.

Homeless advocate Mel Tillekeratne says the long term solution is supportive housing, which homeowners need to get behind, but often don’t.

“…do you want to say no and have an encampment on your street where you don’t know who lives there, you don’t know what’s going on there and where the fires are a threat to your household?” Tillekeratne said.

According to Tillekeratne, as long as there are encampments, there will be risks for the housed and unhoused.

“The person who’s in a tent that’s burning, the person who is victimized by that, I’ve seen many people…it’s a horrific way to die. It’s a horrific way to live afterwards. We have to look at, like, you know…yes, the fire is an issue to the neighborhoods, but the fires are also an issue for the people living in them,” Tillekeratne said.

For its part, LAFD does teach fire safety in the encampments where people often use fire for cooking and to stay warm.

 

 

Source : CBS Los Angeles More   

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Deadly Multi-Vehicle Collision Strikes Apartment Building In Pacoima, Leaves 1 Dead, 5 Others Transported To Hospital

One person was declared dead at the scene. Two other victims had to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters.

Deadly Multi-Vehicle Collision Strikes Apartment Building In Pacoima, Leaves 1 Dead, 5 Others Transported To Hospital

PACOIMA (CBSLA) – A deadly multi-vehicle traffic collision that also struck an apartment building had the 10400 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, near Van Nuys Boulevard, closed off Sunday night in Pacoima.

A maroon Dodge Charger and a white Toyota pickup truck collided, causing the Charger to run head-on into an apartment’s exterior cinderblock wall, which threw debris into an apartment window and the building itself.

An adult male and four juvenile passengers were in the Charger, two of whom were extricated from the vehicle by firefighters. All of the victims were transported to a nearby hospital where two of the kids are in stable condition, though one has a broken bone. The driver and another juvenile are in unknown condition.

The driver of the Toyota pickup truck was declared dead at the scene.

An 11-year-old child asleep in the apartment closest to the collision suffered a cut hand after debris flew threw the window.

While it’s not clear what exactly caused the accident, neighbors say that drivers are constantly speeding along this stretch of Laurel Canyon Boulevard.

“This street is known for speeding,” said a neighbor, Oscar Lespron. “If you look at the car and you see all…I mean, I know for a fact they probably weren’t coming, you know, slow. You’ll have speeders going through here, you know, that’s what sets my alarm off on my truck. They’re just going back and forth and all that.”

Witnesses said they were initially worried that the Charger had gone through the wall of the apartment building, but after a safety inspection, the unit appears to be stable.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

 

Source : CBS Los Angeles More   

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