Have you seen the video of the Fairfax Avenue palm tree on fire? It's below. On August 1 the palm exploded into flames after being shot by a bottle rocket. Its branches fell onto the awning of a local pizza place, setting it on fire.
The pizza shop is next door to the Odd Future apparel store, called OF, and the fire was started in the midst of a release party at the store.
The incident was first reported when Gawker posted a bystander's video on Friday, and that's when things got weird. To be specific, a bunch of sites wrote a bunch of gibberish. They mentioned our recent story on the tensions between the collective and Fairfax tourists (thanks!), but then announced that Odd Future themselves started the fire.
But that's totally wrong! Here's the real story.
According to a cashier named Raul Cossio at the restaurant, Damiano's Mr. Pizza, the fire was caused around 8 p.m. by a man who shot a bottle rocket at the palm tree while waiting in line for the record release party at OF for No Idols, the collaboration between Domo Genesis and producer Alchemist.
The man's name is not known, says Cossio, but he is definitely not an Odd Future member. “Some random kid in line set [it] off. Branches then landed on [our] awning and set it on fire, and everybody ran,” he goes on.
“This fire was not started by Odd Future or any of their affiliates,” adds the collective's publicist, Heathcliff Berru, in an email.
Though he wasn't in the store at that time, Cossio says burning fronds fell on the awning and employees called the fire department, who were able to douse the blaze quickly. (Firefighter Erik Scott says the Los Angeles Fire Department does not have a record of the incident, but adds that they respond to literally hundreds of calls per day.)
Berru says that Odd Future will be paying for the damages …
… and indeed Cossio confirms that someone has already come to take measurements for the new awning.
He maintains nothing but positive vibes for the crew. “We're cool with them, and they're cool with us.”
We wonder if Odd Future feels the same about outlets like The Hollywood Reporter, whose headline was “Odd Future Starts Fire on L.A.'s Famed Fairfax Ave.” Huffington Post Los Angeles' headline was “Odd Future, LA Band, Sets Palm Tree On Fire, True To 'Burn Sh*t' Lyrics.” Both pieces made the startling claim against the band without any sourcing or attribution.
The moral of the story? Just because Tyler, the Creator has a song with the line “kill people, burn shit, fuck school” doesn't mean the group members are actually doing all that.
Oh, and also, people should be more careful with fireworks.
Additional reporting by Ben Westhoff