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Fire inspectors order removal of supergraphics

January 28, 2009 |  4:40 pm

SupergraphicLos Angeles fire inspectors said this afternoon that they have ordered the owners of nearly 20 buildings to remove supergraphics -- huge vinyl or plastic images stretched across the exterior of their properties.

In the last several weeks, fire officials said 15 of the controversial out-sized banners have been taken down.

An additional 100 supergraphics in downtown, the Westside, the San Fernando Valley and elsewhere are under investigation for posing a hazard to the building's occupants.

Fire officials discussed the crackdown as they stood next to a six-story supergraphic advertising Tropicana orange juice on National Boulevard near Westwood Boulevard.

"This would take a fire from the first floor to the top in no time at all," said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Kurt Fasmer.

The news conference was called by Councilman Jack Weiss, a candidate for city attorney, who recommended higher fines for property owners caught erecting illegal supergraphics.

Weiss said the maximum fine is $2,500 a day. An awkward moment came when City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo, who is termed-out of his current job but is considering a second run for state attorney general, crashed the event.

Weiss refused to let Delgadillo speak at the lectern. Instead, Delgadillo spoke one-on-one with reporters about his plan to prosecute the owner of the building where the Tropicana ad was displayed.

-- David Zahniser

Photo credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times