23 Aug 2014
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Update: Echo Park Building Cleans Up After Fire

1625 Palo Alto Street burned for several hours the night of Oct. 9, displacing numerous small businesses. What's happening now?

Update: Echo Park Building Cleans Up After Fire Update: Echo Park Building Cleans Up After Fire Update: Echo Park Building Cleans Up After Fire Update: Echo Park Building Cleans Up After Fire


The three-alarm blaze Oct. 9 at 1625 Palo Alto St. kept firefighters busy well into the early morning.

Crowds gathered on the nearby bridge over the 101 Freeway to gawk from afar.

Locals also gathered on nearby sidewalks lured outside by the television coverage of the event.

Initially firefighters believed the fire started in homeless camp near the freeway and spread to the third floor of the commercial building.

But now, according to one source, investigators feel it may have started in the neon signage on the outside of the building facing the freeway.

But LAFD spokesman Erik Scott said a final determination has not been made.

The building had been red-flagged--that is, declared unsafe by the city of Los Angeles for occupany and entry.

Last week, after some structural reinforcement,tenants finally got to go in and see what remained of their property.

Businesses on the third floor like Echo Park-owned 101 Printers and Car Title Loan were completely destroyed in the blaze. But those below suffered mostly water damage to computers and machines.

Some, like Tony Fimbres of QDS1, a reprographics company serving architects, have moved into other locations.

Fimbres' new office is a block away from 1625 Palo Alto at 533 Glendale Blvd. It's easy for customers to find him.

His insurance paid to replace the oversize copiers and other machines he needs.

Fimbres says some of the other tenants in the building have also relocated. Others like the church, he says, have simply packed up their things and are waiting to see what happens next.

Aesthetics Maintenance, a cleaning company on the first floor, is still using its outdoor parking area to house vehicles and equipment.

This week, workers began removing debris from inside the building, using a dump truck and a chute.

Tony Fimbres says he's not holding his breath about a completion date.

But he adds, he still thinks of his move as temporary though he's not sure repairs or insurance issues surrounding the fire will be resolved soon.

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