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Massive Fire In Downtown Los Angeles Could Be Criminal

Large flames were visible for miles after a building off the 110 Freeway caught fire. No injuries have been reported. Update: A criminal investigation has begun of how the fire started.

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An apartment building under construction caught fire in downtown Los Angeles early Monday morning, sparking a blaze that damaged two other buildings and closed two freeways, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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The blaze could be seen for miles.

Fires of this size typically lead to criminal investigations, an L.A. Fire Department captain told the L.A. Times. The way the entire building quickly became engulfed in flames has also lead to suspicion of foul play.

The fire, on the corner of Temple and Fremont streets, was close to the the four-level freeway interchange junction on the northern edge of the downtown area, the Times said.

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Los Angeles Fire Department tweeted that 37 companies and 250 firefighters were dispatched to the blaze.

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The California Highway Patrol closed lanes running between the 110 and 101 freeways due to the blaze, the Times reported. However, the 101 and 110 were reopened southbound at around 4:30 a.m PT.

Omg. Insane fire in downtown LA off the 101.

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The site was still smoldering as of 5 a.m. PT, with officials unsure of when the blaze would be fully extinguished, the Times reported. The cause and extent of the fires are as yet unknown.

What’s left of the big #LaFire RT @ericspillman: SB 110 now open through Downtown LA. NB 110 to be closed for hours

Jim Dalrymple II@JimDalrympleIIFollow

What’s left of the big #LaFire RT @ericspillman: SB 110 now open through Downtown LA. NB 110 to be closed for hours

12:40 PM - 08 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Several dense, upscale apartment buildings have been built in the area in recent years, and another, known as the Da Vinci, was currently under construction.

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The marketing literature on the Da Vinci development's website claimed to offer would-be residents the opportunity to "experience urban-style elegance and European living in the heart of downtown Los Angeles."

"The Da Vinci, the newest member of the Renaissance collection, will offer 15 unique floor plans to match your lifestyle. Indulge in world-class amenities, such as a state of the art fitness facility, a full-size indoor basketball court, a residential lounge, a library, a theater, and a business center," it said.

Developer Geoff Palmer has built more apartments in Downtown Los Angeles than anyone else (more than 3,000) and they're all fucking terrible. His squat, nearly-identical fortresses, with embarrassing names like the Visconti and the Medici, aren't just ugly (although they are very ugly), they're vacuums designed to suck the life out of a neighborhood that has worked so hard to become lively in the past decade.
Though we have temporarily lost Building B, we will be opening Building A across the street at the end of January to those families looking forward to occupying their new homes.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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