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News Release

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Media Relations

Suspicious Hotel Fire Claims Life of 69-Year-Old Man NA13024bb

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department Robbery-Homicide Division Detectives responded to a San Pedro hotel to investigate a possible arson related fire that resulted in the death of a 69-year-old man.

On January 22, 2013, about 3:30 a.m., local firefighters returning from a medical emergency call saw a structure fire at a hotel located in the 1000 block of Palos Verdes Street in San Pedro, before any 911 calls were received.  Firefighters observed that one unit on the first floor was engulfed in flames that were lapping up to the second story.

The blaze spread rapidly, causing one adult female occupant to jump from the second story due to extreme heat and smoke.  The female suffered an extremity fracture.  Additional occupants were threatening to jump before firefighters swiftly raised ladders to the second story windows and rescued occupants hanging out of them.

Firefighters battled the fire while simultaneously conducting a rapid search of the building, ensuring that all occupants were evacuated.  Several occupants were transported to local hospitals for medical attention.  Among those transported was a male who had sustained severe burns from the fire.  The male, whose name is not being released at this time, pending notification to his family, died from his wounds and was pronounced dead at the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

The cause of the fire remains under active investigation by the Los Angeles Police Departments’, Robbery-Homicide Division and the Los Angeles Fire Departments’ Arson Section.  The fire is being treated as criminal in nature.

Anyone with information about this investigation is urged to call Robbery-Homicide Division, Detectives Louis Zorrilla or Maria Perez at 213-486-6890, during regular business hours.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.   Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.