Boyle Heights apartment fire raises questions over blocked access

A fire in a Los Angeles apartment claimed the life of a woman due to blocked access gates. Family seeks justice, blames city officials.

A fire in a Boyle Heights apartment building left 68-year-old Victoria Velasquez dead. Firefighters were unable to reach her due to a locked and blocked gate. The apartment complex is owned by the City of Los Angeles, and the family is seeking answers and justice.

The victim’s daughters remember their mother with cherished photos of happy times together and gave her a beautiful send-off, but the details in the coroner’s report are grim.

The family’s lawyer stated that Velasquez was hiding in the bathroom, and her mouth was filled with soot in her last moments, waiting for a rescue that was prevented by the locked gate.