West Hollywood neighbors concerned about fires in abandoned house – NBC Los Angeles

After another vacant house went up in flames, neighbors in West Hollywood on Tuesday called on city authorities to better handle abandoned properties.

The latest incident occurred Friday night on North Fairfax Avenue near Fountain Avenue on a property that neighbors say has faced numerous problems with trespassers and illegal renters over the years.

“The smoke and smell were so horrible that I could feel them in my lungs the next day,” said Christine Fass, a West Hollywood resident.

Some attributed the fire to the alleged problem of illegal tenants in the property.

“I wish I could say I was surprised, but this was the third fire in the two years I've lived here,” said Spencer Morgan, another neighbor.

According to West Hollywood Mayor John Erickson, the abandoned property has been on the city's radar for some time since the City Council approved a redevelopment project two years ago that would have created 80 residential units and affordable housing on the property.

However, due to a lawsuit by two neighbors, the project was put on hold.

“Because of the litigation, we are sitting here on this property and having to deal with increased public safety requirements that have been placed on it,” Erickson said, adding that city officials have heard from concerned neighbors.

Fire investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department have been assigned to investigate the cause of the fire.

No injuries were reported from the fire.