Arson ruled out in probe of Stevenson Ranch apartment fire

Firefighters at the scene of apartment fire on Constitution Avenue.
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Arson investigators looking into an apartment fire in Stevenson Ranch early this month have found no indication that the extensive fire which displaced 38 tenants was deliberately set.

“So far, the cause is still undetermined,” Special Enforcement Bureau Captain Jack Ewell of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told The Signal Friday.

The one thing investigators have pieced together, however, is that the fire was not the result of arson.

“There is no indication that this was an intentional act of arson,” Ewell said, noting that the investigation is far from over.

“We’re still on it,” he said.

At least 38 people were displaced by the fire.

Although Red Cross workers – busy attending to victims in disasters around the country, and in Mexico, were unable to provide updates on the status of the displaced tenants.

A spokeswoman Friday, however, confirmed that they were being taken care of.

The blaze broke out on the 24900 block of Constitution Avenue near Pico Canyon Road in Stevenson Ranch shortly after 1 a.m. on Sept. 1, Los Angeles County Fire Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett, said at the time.

The initial 911 call reported smoke and flames erupting from a third-floor balcony which eventually spread to the expansive building’s attic.

A standard first-alarm response was ordered, which consists of five fire engines, two ladder trucks, two battalion chiefs and a paramedic unit.

Evacuations were immediately ordered as the need for resources at the scene grew. At 1:54 a.m., an additional five engines, two ladder trucks, a hazardous materials squad and an urban search and rescue team was added as part of a second-alarm request.

Crews from as far as East Los Angeles, Calabasas and La Canada-Flintridge scrambled to reach the Santa Clarita Valley and join in the firefight as more than 35 people were taken from their homes with little time to grab any belongings.

 

During the fire, the roof collapsed, partially.

At one point during the firefighting efforts, five additional engines were called in, as were two trucks and an additional battalion chief were added to the battle, Pickett said at the time.

 

with files from Austin Dave.

[email protected]

661-287-5527

on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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