Fire engulfed a vacant theater building Wednesday in Hollywood, sending a thick plume of smoke into the air and destroying the 117- year-old structure.
A person of interest was detained by authorities.
More than 80 firefighters were sent to the 1400 block of North Las Palmas Avenue after the fire was reported at about 9 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The blaze burned through the roof of the two-story building, and firefighters went into a defensive mode, preventing the flames from spreading to other structures, the LAFD reported.
Crews appeared to have gained the upper hand after about an hour, although the blaze continued to burn for about another hour and some of the building collapsed. Traffic was routed away from the area as a precaution.
The 9,082-square-foot theater was built in 1905, said Nicholas Prange of the LAFD.
“Firefighters spent the majority of the incident in defensive operations, as heavy fire compromised the structure, making it extremely hazardous to enter,” Prange said in a statement.
“Firefighters deployed hose lines, heavy streams and ladder pipes from the exterior of the building and on adjacent rooftops,” Prange said. “Despite the heavy fire load and structural collapse of the vacant structure, firefighters were able to successfully protect structures on three sides, including several homes, the Hollywood Guest Inn and a multi-family residential building.”
Firefighters extinguished the flames in just under two hours. The cause of the fire was under investigation, Prange said.
“This address will be red tagged by the Department of Building and Safety due to the significant structural damage,” Prange said.
“Fire investigators from LAFD’s Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section arrived on the scene for investigation and, in coordination with LAPD, have detained one person of interest for questioning,” Prange said. “Thankfully, there were no injuries caused by this fire.”