Man Arrested In Connection With Deadly Fire in Westlake Building

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A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder Tuesday after the bodies of five people were found in a burned-out office building in the Westlake area, Los Angeles Fire Department officials said.

Johnny Sanchez was taken into custody Monday evening not long after the fire broke out around 7 p.m. at a vacant two-story building at 2411 West Eighth St., according to Los Angeles Police Department booking records.

Three people were rescued from second-story windows and were treated at a hospital, but one person was found dead, according to the fire department.

The blaze was knocked down more than two hours later and the building was heavily damaged.

Firefighters suspected there were other victims but were unable to get inside the building.

"The decision was made because of the instability of the building and the zero chance of survivability that we would wait until daybreak and bring in the dogs," said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas.

Four additional victims were found Tuesday afternoon amid the rubble of the second floor. All of the victims, three men and two women, appear to be transients, officials said. They have not been identified.

Police believe the fire was the result of a dispute between Sanchez and other individuals living in the building, according to LAPD Captain Billy Hayes.

Sanchez was being held on $2 million bail.