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Man arrested in connection with the Los Angeles apartment fire

LOS ANGELES – A man was Monday arrested in connection with a fire that burned two apartment buildings under construction, damaged adjacent residential structures and displaced 20 people, Los Angeles fire officials said.

Benicio Garcia, 20, was arrested on suspicion of arson after the Monday morning blaze in east Hollywood, fire department spokeswoman Amy Bastman said.

The blaze, reported about 6 p.m. in the wood framing of the buildings on the site, blew out windows in an apartment building on one side and damaged a single-family home on the other side. The American Red Cross is assisting 10 adults and 10 children displaced by the fire.

A firefighter sustained injuries after being struck by wood debris that fell during a part of the building collapsed, Fire Captain Erik Scott said. The firefighter was taken to a hospital in good condition, ” he said.

Arson investigators had detained Garcia at the scene after the adoption of the fire was “incendiary or suspicious in nature,” Scott said.

Garcia was held the night of Monday on $ 75,000 bail, according to the fire department. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer who can respond to the allegations.

More than 100 firefighters went to the fire, which were extinguished in about 40 minutes. Fire officials said that an investigation is still ongoing.

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Associated Press writer John Antczak contributed to this report.

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Follow Michael Balsamo on Twitter http://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1 .

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