Nearly 70 Los Angeles County firefighters responded to a three-alarm fire at the Corsica Apartment Homes in Pico Rivera at about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Upon arrival, firefighters could see smoke and fire on all floors.
The fire spread quickly through the three-story building when flames reached a common-attic where there was no barrier between units. By 4 p.m., Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby told reporters that they needed to change strategy after the building suffered structural collapse. One hour later, firefighters were in defensive mode using heavy water streams from outside the building.
Forty-five units were damaged by fire or smoke and 300 residents were left displaced. The Red Cross quickly set up an evacuation center at the Rivera Park Recreation Center.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had arson investigators on-scene the following morning. Officials have indicated that plumbing work was most likely the cause of the fire.