Arrests Made in 1993 Deadly L.A. Fire

February 5, 2017

LOS ANGELES — Police have arrested several people for a 1993 apartment building fire that killed 10 people, including seven children, it was announced Feb. 4.

Those arrested remained jailed, Officer Aareon Jefferson said. He had no other details. Police planned to hold a news conference on Feb. 6.

The three-story building in the Westlake district caught fire on May 3, 1993. At the time, police said they believed the blaze was set by gang members kicked off the property for selling drugs.

The building, packed with mainly poor immigrants from Central America, had inoperable smoke alarms. Investigators found fire doors had been propped or nailed open for ventilation, allowing smoke to surge through the apartments.

Tenants tried to escape by jumping from windows, scrambling down fire escapes and climbing down bedsheets tied to balconies. At one point, neighbors formed a human chain to pass along children from upper floors.

Other children were dropped from balconies into waiting hands.

The dead included three women, two of whom were pregnant, and children as young as 4. One woman’s baby was delivered by Caesarean section before she died.

Most of the bodies were found in a corridor on the third floor.

Investigators believe the fire was set by gang members who had been ordered off the property because the manager suspected they were dealing drugs.

The apartment complex was known for cocaine dealing by a local gang, and the manager had begun reporting the activity to police.

“The local thugs in the area decided that she had to leave, and the fire was set,” Detective Steven Spear said in 1998, after two gang members were arrested and charged with murder.

However, the case against the men was dropped two years later for lack of evidence. “It wasn’t clear these were the right guys,” Deputy District Attorney Joseph Esposito said at the time.


Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Mission, TNH’s New Travel Documentary Series with Clelia Charissis

Every weekend, TNH and Clelia Charissis are on a mission, traveling around Greece and the world to highlight places through the people we meet along the way.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.