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Los Angeles Fire Kills Five

  • VOA News

A ladder truck lifts a body, one of four additional bodies found in the burned-out ruins of an abandoned office building in the Westlake district just west of downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

A ladder truck lifts a body, one of four additional bodies found in the burned-out ruins of an abandoned office building in the Westlake district just west of downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

Five bodies were recovered Tuesday from a Los Angeles building which police say was deliberately set on fire.

The two-story building was officially uninhabited, but a number of people believed to be homeless had been seen there.

One body was discovered Monday, but four more were not found until Tuesday afternoon, as the building was too unstable to finish the search immediately, city fire officials said.

A suspect identified as 21-year-old Johnny Sanchez has been taken into custody for allegedly intentionally starting the fire following a dispute with other residents.

"His intent was to light the fire with the hopes of killing these individuals, or at least one individual," said Billy Hayes, commanding officer of the LAPD's Robber-Homicide division.

One hundred and forty seven firefighters took over two hours to put out the blaze Monday night in the Westlake district, less than two kilometers from downtown LA.

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