Hollywood apartment blaze 'suspicious,' fire chief says

A suspicious fire gutted a Hollywood apartment and displaced a family early Monday morning.

"We label it suspicious because we have questions that are unanswered," said Hollywood Fire Rescue Division Chief Joel Medina said Monday afternoon.

The fire began about 3 a.m. Monday in a ground floor unit of the two-story Jackson Arms complex in the 2100 block of Jackson Street. There were no injuries.

He said officials are investigating the possibility that the renter in the unit where the blaze started might have been in the process of being evicted. The renter was not home at the time of the fire.


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Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire and where it started in the apartment. "The entire apartment is destroyed," Medina said. "There is not one square inch of that apartment that does not have significant damage. The bathroom was burned to the studs, it got hot in there quick."

Earl Brewer, 27, said he had been apartment-sitting and allowed a woman who had been in some sort of domestic dispute to come into the apartment.

"I went out to get some cigarettes and I came back to this right here," Brewer said, pointing to the destroyed apartment.

"She was gone. There was nothing in this house that could have done this by itself," Brewer said.

Said Medina: "The person who was there says they left somebody else there. It sounds like an [Abbott and] Costello Who's on First? I Don't Know."

The American Red Cross was providing assistance to the family with two children who had been living directly upstairs. Their unit sustained smoke damage.

Both units on either side suffered water damage from the fire department's hoses. There are about 20 units in the complex.

Staff photographer Joe Cavaretta contributed to this report.