Suspect in big downtown Los Angeles blaze charged with arson

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a man with arson for allegedly starting a massive inferno that destroyed an unfinished apartment building and damaged nearby office towers in downtown Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says 56-year-old Dawud Abdulwali was charged Thursday with arson of a structure and aggravated arson. He's scheduled to be arraigned later in the day.

Prosecutors say Abdulwali used an accelerant to start the Dec. 8 fire on the fourth floor of the seven-story Da Vinci complex.

Abdulwali remains jailed on more than $1 million bail. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years to life in state prison.

The blaze caused $20 million to $30 million in damage to the building site and another $50 million to $60 million to a city-owned building nearby.