Thick black smoke filled the air Tuesday afternoon after a massive fire tore through a former Bank of America building in Boyle Heights.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the fire at the vacant structure at 1308 Soto Street shortly after it was reported at around 1:26 p.m.

A full closure of Soto Street between Olympic and 8th Street was in effect as 97 city firefighters battled the flames. It took about 89 minutes for a full knockdown of the fire, according to the LAFD.

Two LAFD personnel were transported to a nearby hospital for non-life threatening injuries sustained during the firefight.

An adult man identified as a person of interest was interviewed by law enforcement at the scene and was taken into police custody for further questioning, according to an LAFD spokesperson. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

A similar fire took place just across the street at the abandoned Mr. Chen restaurant on July 6. In both cases, the structures involved were vacant at the time of the fire.

Alex Medina

Alex Medina is a graduate of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School and 2018 alumnus of the Boyle Heights Beat. He is a recent graduate of Hamilton College in Central New York where he majored in Hispanic...

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