Debate over Venice homeless encampments revisited after fire

The video taken from the Ocean Front Walk in Venice is chilling. 

The video shows a person tossing a mysterious object into the tent, causing the tent to catch fire and then a loud explosion happening soon after.

Luckily, no one was inside. It’s the latest fire in a Venice area homeless encampment. 

No one was hurt, but it’s only a matter of time, says the man who shot the video. He wants to stay anonymous, but has been compiling videos on the "Venice Beach Boardwalk" Twitter page of life on the area’s homeless encampments – the fights, attacks, and yes, fires.  

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Residents tell us they are scared. Earlier this year, a large building was destroyed from a fire started in tents that were set up against it. 

Arson investigators are looking at the possibility that the fire that killed a dog at a home off Clubhouse Avenue was started outside, even as Mike Bonin, the councilmember for the area, says that the homeless are being blamed unfairly. 

Bonin is working with LA Fire on a new program that appoints a fire unit, four days a week, to the beach walk areas in Venice, to do proactive reaching to the population. Bonin explaining that LAFD is adding the resources exclusively to the Ocean Front area to focus on "engaging with unhoused neighbors to prevent fire risks, as well as helping respond to emergencies".

Residents living in homes and apartments in the area say they’d rather see the units out there at night, when the fires seem to happen, or better yet, the tents removed completely.