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LAPD probes substandard construction in blaze that killed firefighter

February 24, 2011 |  3:21 pm

GlenallenAn investigation into a fire last week at a Hollywood Hills home that killed an L.A. firefighter is focusing on questions about substandard construction and possible permit violations.

The investigation is being handed by the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division as well as the Fire Department's arson team and the Department of Building and Safety.

Sources told The Times that there is no evidence that the fire was intentionally set, but investigators are trying to determine whether the recently rebuilt house was constructed properly and in a sound and legal manner.

The 12,500-square-foot home in the 1500 block of North Viewsite Drive is surrounded by crime tape, with a police cruiser is parked in front to bar access to the property without police permission and supervision.

Firefighter Glenn Allen, 61, died last Friday of injuries he sustained when a water-soaked ceiling collapsed during a Feb. 16 blaze. Investigators believe the ceiling filled with water when the plastic pipe connected to a sprinkler system melted.

David Lara, a spokesman for the city's Building and Safety Department, said last week that investigators hoped to have preliminary findings this week on whether design and construction issues might have had anything to do with the ceiling's collapse.

It's unclear what that department found.

The home was intended for use in a reality show for German TV starring Heidi Klum in a knockoff of "America's Next Top Model."


Hollywood Hills mansion where firefighter died declared a crime scene

-- Andrew Blankstein and Howard Blume

Photo: Firefighter Glenn Allen. Credit: LAFD