Six buildings in the Wilshire Boulevard area of Los Angeles were evacuated after an arsonist set one on fire, police said. Officers were called to one of the buildings late on Saturday. Video showed flames licking up the side of a multistory building. Firefighters are on the scene and have made it under control, a fire department spokeswoman said. No injuries were reported. The Los Angeles Times reported that authorities believe the blaze was started by an arsonist. The LAPD said it is working closely with the LAFD and the fire department.
"It is absolutely horrific. I had to watch them put the fire out and then I thought maybe they had been trying to do CPR or something like that. It was very devastating," Patti Hersh, a witness, told NBC. "This is usually a very lively area, a lot of traffic on Wilshire Boulevard, and it is just disturbing. We're going to have a huge, huge presence around here today."
"A lot of people and friends live here," Jaime Jones said. "It's the sort of neighborhood people know. When I saw the fire, I was shocked, because you don't expect this to happen so close to home."
A police car blocked the street and was equipped with a ladder for firefighting. The Los Angeles Times reported that it was the second time a building in that area had been set on fire this month.