Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Commercial fire in south Boyle Heights damages family business

A fire gutted an East L.A. alcohol distributing business that has been in the neighborhood since the end of Prohibition, one of the owners said Tuesday.

“It’s almost a total loss,” said Sam Saporito, who put the damage at East L.A. Wholesale Beverages in the millions.

It took 120 city and county firefighters just over an hour to extinguish the blaze, which broke out at about 10:40 p.m. Monday in the 3600 block of Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said in a blog post.

No injuries were reported.

“Firefighters … fought their way through scorching heat, thick smoke and boxes of merchandise to locate the origin of the flames,” Scott said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Tuesday.

Saporito, 37, said the business was founded in 1933 and has been in his family for three generations.

“We sell to a lot of mom-and-pop liquor stores, restaurants and bars,” he said, adding he was determined to keep the business open. “We had a fire a long time ago, before I was here, but they got that one out real quick,” he said. “This one takes the cake.”

-- Alexandra Zavis

Photo: Sam Saporito, right, a third-generation owner of east East L.A. Wholesale Liquors in Boyle Heights, surveys the damage to his business with driver Joey Hernandez. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (1)

This was my Grandparent's store, and seeing this is just devastating.
Thank God no one was hurt.
My Aunt and Uncle will rebuild and keep this business going, in fact they are searching for a new building as I type this.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: