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LAFD Dedicates Faster, Nimbler Vehicle To Growing Number Of Fires At Venice Homeless Encampments

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A fast-response Los Angeles Fire Department vehicle has been dedicated to responding to the increasing number of fires at homeless encampments in Venice this year.

More than half of all the fires in Los Angeles so far this year have involved homeless people, according to the LAFD – and the problem is especially acute in Venice.

Venice residents are outraged over the wave of fires that have erupted from homeless encampments, where tents, homes, and commercial buildings have been documented burning on social media.

"I want to reduce that anxiety and the best wat to do that is to do something," Deputy Chief Armando Hogan, LAFD's west bureau commander, said. "So I'm not going to get into a finger pointing on anything, if people are uncomfortable, let's see what we can do in the Los Angeles Fire Department to add some comfort too it, so at least they know we're out there."

To address the ongoing issue, the LAFD has a new vehicle dedicated to responding to the Venice oceanfront boardwalk and the homeless encampments there. The FR-9 is a fully-equipped paramedic unit with a 150-gallon tank that's small enough to get around faster and easier than a regular-sized engine.

Some Venice residents and business owners have accused the city of gross negligence in the matter and say the only solution to the fire dangers is to house the people living on the boardwalk.

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