Echo Park Fire Deaths Prompt Possible Murder Investigation

Echo Park Fire Deaths Prompt Possible Murder Investigation
North Bonnie Brae Street via Google Maps.

The remains of two people were found following a fire this morning in Echo Park, and a homicide detective was dispatched to the scene, authorities said.

The blaze at an apartment building at 1031 N. Bonnie Brae St. was reported at 12:18 a.m., L.A. Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey told us. Firefighters were told a man jumped from the multistory building before they arrived, he said.

That man and a 10-year-old who suffered smoke inhalation were taken to hospitals in unknown condition, Humphrey said. A woman with burns to her face also required medical attention he said.

But that wasn't the worst of it.

After 104 firefighters got the blaze knocked down in 53 minutes, the remains of two people were discovered inside the building, Humphrey said.

The fire's cause was considered to be "suspicious," and an accelerant-sniffing dog spent three hours and 26 minutes going through the rubble, Humphrey said.

The LAPD sent a detective from its elite Robbery-Homicide Division to the scene, but Officer Gregory Baek said it was too early to say if this was officially a murder investigation.

The LAFD's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section was also on the case, Humphrey said. Cops were sent to the scene about 2 a.m., Officer Bruce Borihahn told us.

About 25 people in the building were left temporarily homeless after the blaze, Humphrey said. The LAFD took some to a nearby station, and the American Red Cross offered shelter, he said.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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