By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Residents of Pacific Palisades Bowl Mobile Estates, located on Pacific Coast Highway, were woken up shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, June 16, to a fire that had started in the complex.
Ben Townsley, a resident of the community since 1994, reported he opened his front door that night only to see six-foot flames coming from a fire pit in a communal area nearby. He said he walked closer with his dog and noticed a figure with their arms full of debris, grabbing items from an open storage unit and putting them in the fire.
“I’ve been here 30 years, there’s someone there I’ve never seen before, it’s after midnight … this is a dangerous situation,” Townsley recalled. “I picked up the phone and called LAPD.”
Los Angeles Fire Department Captain David Cohen said Station 23 responded to the fire shortly after midnight and was on the scene for approximately 40 minutes. The cause was determined to be a homeless encampment fire.
Resident of four years Nikki York told the Palisadian-Post an emergency meeting was held the day after the fire to discuss an increasing threat of trespassing and growing concerns among the residential community.
“We see more and more people changing their clothes, trying to use the bathrooms, trying to use the laundry rooms and it’s just not very pleasant,” York said. “They’re obviously in a position of emergency themselves, and I can understand somebody wants to grill their sausage or make a little fire if they’re cold, but it’s becoming more and more dangerous for us here.
“Fire is always a threat … but in a mobile home park, we have six feet between the structures. A mobile home park would go up into flames like a matchbox.”
York said during the meeting neighbors discussed ways they can continually look out for one another, the possibility of a gate at the entrance of the mobile estates and better security. She said neighbors have reported individuals sleeping in their backyards, and the issue has increased in the last year.
“The last couple of months I’ve probably escorted six or seven transients out of our community area,” Townsley added.
LAPD Officer Brian Espin, acting senior lead officer for the Palisades, said two individuals were detained Wednesday at 12:45 a.m., a male and female. Both individuals were questioned and released, warned and advised of trespassing. He said no reports or arrests were made.
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