A destructive fire erupted at the Store Supply warehouse in Los Angeles, causing extensive damage from the ceiling to the floor. The Valdez family, who owns the warehouse, suspects the fire originated in a nearby homeless encampment. According to Angela Sanchez, a witness saw a homeless man fleeing the scene when the fire began. Over 40 firefighters worked tirelessly for 25 minutes to extinguish the flames, which started outside near the encampment and spread into the building.
Andres Valdez, who emigrated from Mexico 27 years ago and established the business, expressed his devastation at the loss. While the store area sustained minimal damage, the warehouse and all its contents were completely destroyed. As Valdez had limited insurance coverage, the financial impact is significant, leaving him uncertain about the future.
The Los Angeles Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire, but initial assessments suggest it started outside the building and quickly engulfed the warehouse. Santiago Varela, owner of The Melrose House bar nearby, captured video evidence supporting this account.
The Valdez family claims to have repeatedly contacted the city for assistance in dealing with the homeless man’s encampment, but the efforts proved ineffective as he would return shortly after being removed. Valdez personally confronted the man a month ago, asking him to leave, but his pleas were met with resistance and excuses.
Now, the aftermath of the fire has left the sidewalk strewn with debris. The blaze consumed shopping carts and even a neighbor’s parked SUV. The heartbreaking loss has deeply affected Sanchez and her father, leaving them with questions about the future.
To recover their losses, the Valdez family has initiated a fundraising campaign to help rebuild their business and lives. Donations can be made through the provided link.