The Da Vinci Building Arsonist Didn’t Get Away with It Yet

The LAFD reportedly has a very big lead to investigate: video surveillance of the suspect

Remember the downtown “Da Vinci” apartment building that burned in a giant fire last December? The Los Angeles Fire Department is now one step closer to catching the arsonist: They have surveillance video footage of a man parking his vehicle on the 110 freeway and carrying cans of fuel into the structure shortly before the wooden framework went up in flames.

Battalion Chief Steve Ruda reportedly revealed this information at an Echo Park neighborhood council meeting last week, and the LAFD has remained tight-lipped about the video since. (So as it stands, this news won’t really help you amateur detectives nab the arsonist for the $170,000 reward.)

The Da Vinci complex—the work of developer Geoff Palmer, who has been described as controversial and despised—was intended to be part of the “Renaissance Collection,” a series of resort-ish downtown apartment complexes with pretentious faux-Italian names: the Medici, the Orsini, the Piero, the Visconti, the Lorenzo, and the Da Vinci. The complexes, which are entirely inward facing and linked by pedestrian bridges, give the impression of enclaves of ersatz luxury separated from the outside world. The half of the Da Vinci apartments that didn’t burn are now completed, with lavish interiors and lush gardens just waiting to be enjoyed. It remains to be seen whether Palmer will rebuild the destroyed apartments.