By Mary O’KEEFE
The clean up continues after an early morning fire took place on Monday at Crescenta Valley Tow in the 4400 block of Cloud Avenue.
At about 1:40 a.m., a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. sergeant who was patrolling the area noticed smoke coming from behind a gate at the CV Tow lot.
The Los Angeles County Fire Dept. was called. The fire was knocked down in 19 minutes, according Stephanie English, LACoFD spokeswoman.
“Two vehicles in the garage were in [flames] when Fire got here,” said CV Tow owner Hal Present. “A motorcycle was also burned.”
Another motorcycle outside the garage and two other vehicles, one that was on a hoist, were also damaged in the fire. The damage is estimated at $450,000.
“There appeared to be a fire accelerant on one of the vehicles,” said Lt. Randy Tuinstra of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept.-CV Sheriff’s Station.
“It is definitely an arson investigation,” said Sgt. John Hanson of the LASD Arson and Explosive Detail.
There was a surveillance tape from CV Tow that appeared to show a substance being poured onto the vehicles in the garage.
Investigators are reviewing the tape.
“We do not know if the business or one of the cars was being targeted,” Hanson said. “There was damage to the [wall] near the office.”
The Glendale Police Dept. Narcotics Unit was holding one of the vehicles that was damaged by the fire in the garage, said Tahnee Lightfoot, GPD spokeswoman.
It appeared the suspect/suspects entered the business through a back gate south of Foothill Boulevard at the east end of the CV Tow property.
After the sheriffs and fire personnel left, Present surveyed the damage. The garage where the fire appeared to have started was filled with ash and twisted metal. The side wall of the garage that is shared with the office was charred and the window was shattered.
“We hold cars all the time [for law enforcement agencies] and we have never had anything like this happen,” Present said.
No injuries were reported. An employee that usually stays at the yard throughout the night was not on duty at the time of the fire.
“We’ve been in business 53 years and never had anything like this happen before,” added Sue Present. “We’re thankful no one was hurt.”
The incident is still under investigation.
Anyone with information on the fire is asked to contact Sgt. John Hanson at (323) 881-7500.