Neighbors worried about series of fires around homeless settlements in Venice – CBS Los Angeles
VENICE (CBSLA) – For months, a series of fires in and around homeless settlements in Venice have worried neighbors, the most recent sparking horror as a family pet was trapped inside.
“You could hear our neighbor’s dog here behind the back making horrible sounds, moans,” said a neighbor who only wanted to be identified as Francesa.
READ MORE: Man dies in filming, crashes in Hawthorne
On Sunday, a vigil was held on the beach in Venice to honor the dog, with photos, candles and flowers.
Early in the morning of April 21, terrified neighbors in Venice saw a wave of flames engulf a house on East Clubhouse Avenue, empty except for the family dog fatally trapped inside as the blaze raged.
“It was really difficult. My kids must have heard it and it’s just awful, ”Francesca said.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said the cause of the blaze was undetermined, but “there is no evidence indicating the involvement of a homeless person.”
READ MORE: Thousands of people fill SoFi stadium for Vax LIVE charity concert on Sunday
But some neighbors said they saw two homeless flee the house when firefighters arrived. Others said they had seen enough of the massive encampment across the street to draw their own conclusions.
“Fires occur almost every night around Venice, shootings regularly, rapes of people on the promenade in broad daylight so that no one is surprised,” said Nico Ruderman, a resident of Venice. “No one is shocked. We are just sad and frustrated.
An attorney for the Venice Stakeholders Association group has written to city leaders pleading with them to tackle the increased risk of fire linked to the homeless population.
On Monday, Council member Bonin and the Los Angeles Fire Department will launch a “rapid response vehicle” unit, dedicated specifically to fire hazards in the Ocean Front Walk area, where the uninhabited population is concentrated.
NO MORE NEWS: Two people shot, killed outside of downtown 7-Eleven
“It was a nightmare living in this neighborhood,” added Francesca.