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7 Fires in Past Month at Downtown Building are Arson

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Firefighters have responded to at least seven fires in the past month to the Broadway Trade Center, formally the Hamburger/May Company building, in downtown. There is a concern since multiple sets of fires in multiple locations have occurred in recent weeks, according to LA Fire Department Spokesman Ron Myers.

Battalion Chief Greg Gibson told KNX1070 this morning that the arson unit has been on scene several times. "Someone is lighting these fires off and they're not huge fires, but enough of a nuisance, and of course with being a sprinkler building we have a huge water problem as a result of it." He said that the fires are set by "available combustibles," that is, whatever is available to them in the building to light a fire such as rags and trash.

This morning, firefighters were called to the building on the 800 block of Hill St. and found various small fires on several floors. Like the other fires, the damage has been minimal and has not caused injuries.

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Photo of LAFD responding to a fire at the building on October 20 by Eric Richardson/Blogdowntown