Authorities Search for Person of Interest in Los Angeles Freeway Fire

Authorities Search for Person of Interest in Los Angeles Freeway Fire

The person of interest in the arson that closed I-10 freeway in Los Angeles. (Courtesy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

11/20/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

Officials celebrated the early reopening of the I-10 Freeway Nov. 19, as fire officials continued to search for a person of interest in the arson that closed one of the city’s main arteries for eight days.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire (CalFire) issued a crime alert Nov. 18 showing two photos of the person of interest.
The suspect is described as a male of unknown race, about 6-feet fall, 170 to 190 pounds, 30 to 35 years old with black hair. He is shown wearing a black hoodie, blue shorts, grey shoes, a green scarf, with a brace on his right knee and a dark-colored backpack. Additionally, he possibly has a burn to his left leg, according to CalFire.
The person is seen on video leaving the immediate area after the fire, according to authorities.
The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) reopened the impacted section of the freeway at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday, weeks earlier than originally expected.
A stretch of the busy freeway between Alameda Street and the East Los Angeles interchange was closed for a week after someone lit a fire underneath one of the overpasses.
“What began as months has turned into days—before Angelenos hit the road on Monday, we’re opening the 10 back up,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom in a statement Sunday. “Thanks to the tireless work of Caltrans and union construction crews and with help from our partners—from the Mayor’s office to the White House—the 10’s expedited repair is proof and a point of pride that here in California, we deliver.”
Vice President Kamala Harris joined Mr. Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass at the site Sunday.
“The work that happened here is extraordinary,” Ms. Harris said, according to a statement.
Repairs will continue for months and the public should expect some temporary closures on the weekend and at night, along with intermittent lane closures as the work progresses, according to Mr. Newsom.
The fire began at a site rented by Calabasas-based Apex Development, Inc. The company is being sued by California after falling behind on rent and subleasing the space without authorization.
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Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

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Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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