Homeless person suspected of setting trash fire in downtown L.A.

- Cellphone video from a downtown L.A.business shows a woman near a pile of burning trash on Tuesday. 

What starts out as a small flame quickly grows larger and instead of trying to put the fire out, security video from business owner Luyi Khasi shows what she said is the woman just adding more fuel to the pile. 

"She kept throwing things on top fueling it and just let it burn," Khasi said. 

Khasi said the woman is homeless, she's seen her on McGarry Street near the back of her business on Alameda. 

She said in this industrial area of downtown, businesses are at risk because the homeless sometimes start fires. 

"This is so close to the building and if any of the smoke entered one of those gates and then got the sprinklers going all of my inventory is going to be trash," she said. 

The business owner is frustrated with the recurring problem, several years ago she said a fire that started at a homeless encampment spread from the street and burned part of her building. 

She's said she's contacted the city sanitation department. 

A spokesperson didn't address her specific case, but said crews go out daily to clean up homeless encampments however a new camp is often set up just as fast as they can clean up the old one. 

"I feel very helpless because the city they're trying their best to help, but a lot of times they have their hands tied because they can only do so much, then what should we do?" she questioned. 

Kahsi said what's left behind in this unsightly and smelly pile is a health risk to her and her employees. 

"In the pile you will see not just human waste you will see flies you will see needles and traces of drugs," she said. 

After the fire started, security video shows the woman walking away as the fire department puts out the flames. 

Kahsi said she understands the challenges of dealing with homelessness but hopes more can be done. 

The city's Department of Public Works asks anyone who is having a similar issue to call their number at 1-800-733-2489 and file a report with as much detail as possible so a crew can respond to the location. 


 

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