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Fire burns roof of historic Koreatown apartment building

Firefighters extinguished a possible arson blaze Friday in the attic of a historic apartment building in Koreatown.

Aptfire.2 More than 100 residents of the 58-unit building at 614 S. Saint Andrews Place were evacuated after the fire spread from the attic to the roof of the building, said Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Ronnie R. Villanueva.

One occupant was taken to a hospital for treatment of shortness of breath, but there were no serious injuries.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but officials are treating it as a potential arson.

Residents said it was the latest in a string of what appeared to be targeted attacks against the Versailles Apartments in two days.

Jeff Brooks, director of operations for Wexford Management, confirmed that another fire had started in the management office early Thursday morning. And before Friday morning's blaze, someone had fired gunshots into a workout room in the front of the building.

No one was injured in either of the incidents.

Brooks declined to comment further, and residents said the apparent attacks were out of character in the generally quiet neighborhood.

"The area's well-patrolled -- people walk their dogs in the morning. You come out at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.," said Fred Fayne, 47, a resident of one of the apartments in the three-building complex.

Residents John Dillon, 25, and Stephanie McGinnis, 24, said the incident has them thinking of moving, and they will take extra precautions in the meantime.

"My plan is to move everything I care about out of the house until this subsides for a while," Dillon said.

-- Abby Sewell

Photos: (top) More than 200 firefighters respond to a that fire burned through the roof of a six-story apartment building in Koreatown. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

(bottom) Soraya Kabbaj hugs her dog after safely evacuating the Versailles Apartments. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (3)

I used to live here & even before the area had all of the recent new construction and "gentrification," it was safe & friendly. I lived in this building for 5 years without a problem (other than the usual apartment living complaints!). This is shocking - hope everyone & their pets are okay.

Once again the only part of LA city government that works well comes through and saves the day. The LAFD. The Los Angeles Fire Department.

Guess Mayor Tony and the 15 council clowns need to cut the LAFD some more to bring them into parity with the rest of the city services.

Arsonists spray paint 'its not over' on the 620 building, last week.


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