🚨 Sierra Bonita house was magnet for homeless, drug use before fire

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Michael McFadden resorted to yelling out his window in the middle of the night to get the homeless people next door at 1030 Sierra Bonita to quiet down.

Over the past two or three weeks, he had called the Sheriff’s Department on multiple occasions to deal with people causing a ruckus in the abandoned home and its two-story carriage house, a stone’s throw from his apartment.

Deputies would come and force them to leave, but they would always come back.

Now, he and his partner are themselves without a home after the fire that broke out in the abandoned house on Thanksgiving crept up inside the walls of their own building, filling the apartment with smoke, destroying everything inside and rendering it uninhabitable.

Michael spoke with WEHOonline on Saturday and shared a number of concerning details, as well as these photos and video. 

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@wehoonline Michael McFadden was living in the apartment next-door to 1030 Sierra Bonito which burned down on Thanksgiving. He tried to get authorities to address the problem but instead he is now left essentially homeless after the fire damaged his own apartment. ##weho ♬ original sound – WEHOonline

MICHAEL: We called the WeHo non-emergency police several times to report, because there have been folks living in the abandoned carriage house for weeks.

There’s a lot of fighting, yelling, and people banging like they’re hammering, which I assume is them trying to open up the boarded-up windows and doors. It’s at all hours, so we would call when we’re woken up at night. Our unit is the furthest back, closest to the abandoned carriage house. We’d be sleeping and be woken up by them. So, we called several times to ask if they could come and check it out.

The Sheriff’s Office, two or three times that we called, came out and evacuated folks. They never arrested anybody. They would say, ‘If you don’t leave now, we’re going to arrest you.’ So, they gave them a warning and had everybody leave. No arrests were made, which I’m fine with, but the problem was that people kept coming back. They didn’t do anything to stop them from returning.

BRANDON: How soon would they come back?

MICHAEL: Either later that night or the next day. It’s hard to tell if it was the same people or different ones coming back. There was also the issue of the property being very overgrown. I think part of the reason our building got fire damage was that the trees in that area were overgrown into our window and side of the building, so the fire probably carried over from the overgrowth as well.

BRANDON: Did you guys have to evacuate the building when it was going on?

MICHAEL: Just our unit. There was fire damage to our bedroom. They had to break through the wall and the roof. Oddly enough, we weren’t there when the fire broke out. We were at a family member’s house for dinner. One of the other guests at the dinner saw on the Citizens app that there was a fire. When we looked at it closer, we realized it was right by our house. So, we drove back to our apartment and found out that it was our unit that was affected. When we went in, the apartment was covered in smoke. The unit is currently not inhabitable.

BRANDON: Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I had no idea it affected the building so badly.

MICHAEL: Yeah, so the fire department came through our unit because the fire had gotten into the walls of our building. They had to go both on the roof and in our unit, and then outside, trying to contain the fire to our building.

BRANDON:  Were you guys freaking out?

MICHAEL: I mean, yes and no. Thankfully, it could have been so much worse. The major issue for us is really about smoke damage. All of our stuff smells of smoke, and some of our property got coated in soot and water. But I was just grateful that nobody was hurt. That’s the most important part.

MICHAEL:Do you remember the date that you called the sheriff?

MICHAEL: I could look back into my call log, but it’s upwards of two to three weeks ago, and it’s been frequent, like every couple of nights for the last few weeks. Me and my partner have called probably four times over the last three weeks. We’ve also yelled from our window at the people there, trying to get them to leave.

BRANDON: Had you seen anybody lighting fires or anything like that?

MICHAEL: No, but when I was there, I took a peek and took a bunch of photos yesterday. There was a candle on the floor of the burnt-out building, signs of drug use, lighters, and it was also clear that people were living in there as well. There were personal items, dog food, and human feces. It was evident that people were living there..

BRANDON: Oh God. And do you know how long the home had been vacant?

MICHAEL: We’ve lived in the building for just over a year, and it’s been abandoned the entire time.

BRANDON: Has there been any other kind of activity, like say the developer coming by or anybody cutting the lawn?

MICHAEL: Nothing, no.

BRANDON: No code enforcement, no fire department?

MICHAEL: No.

BRANDON: Wow. I mean, it’s insane. The negligence is just unreal.

MICHAEL: Not to say they didn’t, I just have never seen it. We’re really lucky because we have family members that live nearby, so we’re able to stay with them currently. But we can’t live in our building, in our unit. Financially, I have no ability to stay in a hotel.

BRANDON: Are they going to provide you with something?

MICHAEL: Well, fascinatingly enough, our property manager has not contacted us. We had to contact them. We talked to the office manager yesterday, but they have not contacted anyone in the building. They were aware of the fire but thought it happened next door. Our building manager has not done anything about it at all, nor reached out to us.

BRANDON: Let me do this. I’ll send a text over to Lauren Meister, one of the council members. I know they have to do something, they have to help you. Let me see if she knows what can be done. I’ll put you all in touch and see if she can help you out.

 

 

 

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Leila
5 months ago

Join us today Tuesday, 11/28 at 3pm in front of 1030 N Sierra Bonita Ave as we meet with Danny Rivas, director of the city’s Community Safety Department to discuss what the next steps are for this property and to voice our community concerns.

Also view the property damge photos at: 
** 1030 N Sierra Bonita Ave **

mike
mike
5 months ago

Always carry Renter’s Insurance especially for anybody that rents especially due to disasters. Renter’s insurance isn’t that expensive-about $200-$300 annually. They pay for lodging up to one year, among other coverage. The fires with these criminals/criminal encampments, and vacant houses that are broken into by criminals are breaking out throughout the state for years. ‘Our leaders” are well aware of this for years. They don’t give a rats ass about their citizens anymore, and that’s why people/businesses are fleeing the state. There’s been over 10 fires in front of the DWP on the 900 block on Poinseitta Ave right near… Read more »

Left Field
Left Field
5 months ago

The electric pole between the buildings was on fire when I first spotted the blaze about 5:28 pm.

mario games
5 months ago

I feel bad for McFadden. I think local authorities have not fulfilled their responsibilities

Todd
Todd
5 months ago

Horrific. Here’s hoping Councilmember Meister can help, or someone else in the city who regularly handles these kinds of things. Poor guys.

hifi5000
hifi5000
6 months ago

There is a widespread public safety advisory pushed by many local authorities that state “See something,say something”. Evidently,Mr. McFadden did what he was supposed to do by this advisory.It is obvious the local authorities don’t follow their own words.

Cy Husain
6 months ago

The resident of the burned out apartment should be helped out to the fullest extent possible for his housing needs and replacement of items lost in the fire considering that the fire was in no way his fault. Also the unhoused residents finding shelter in the abandon house may very well be victims too. Yes they may do drugs (not good) but, the problem is far worse in affluent groups of people. The real problem here is the fire hazard and, the unhoused residents are NOT the ONLY suspects here. Spontaneous combustion easily occurs if the wrong items are present.

Wacky Weho
Wacky Weho
5 months ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

Spontaneous combustion easily occurs if the wrong items are present.

Degenerate drug addicts and flammable materials?

They should all be in jail on charges of felony arson.

Cy Husain
5 months ago
Reply to  Wacky Weho

To convict under California Penal Code §451 – Felony Arson, the prosecutor must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • They BURNED a structure, forest land, Or property.
  • AIDED, COUNSELED, OR PROCURED another person to burn the land or property.
  • ACTED WILLFULLY & MALICIOUSLY. (Good luck proving this with crack heads) 🤣
John Ryan
John Ryan
6 months ago

So sorry for your situation, Michael. Another obvious fail by the Sheriff’s Department. Comment below asks if Michael has WRITTEN COMMUNICATION regarding his reports; how can you have anything written when the Sheriff’s don’t respond? I’ve had the same issue with Sheriff’s, City Hall, and the Homeless Outreach notified of homeless persons nuisance, including setting two fires immediately adjacent to my apartment. The response? ZERO. Never came out, never responded, never communicated with me. The one time I did get a Sherriff response, when the individual was screaming for hours outside my window that he would KILL ALL FAGS; the… Read more »

:dpb
:dpb
6 months ago

I feel sad and full of rage for Michael McFadden. He did everything a good citizen is supposed to do about 1030 North Sierra Bonita. The city has even built million dollar ad campaigns around “if you see something, say something”. The city and its multiple levels of bureaucracy have failed him and ultimately us. Mr. Rivas, you better search out Mr. McFadden and apologize (looking him straight in the eyes) for your failures. Your attitude of inconvenience is disgusting and cost a resident his home.

Last edited 6 months ago by :dpb
Responsibility
Responsibility
6 months ago

Questions: Did Mr.McFadden ever have written communication with the City of West Hollywood about the nuisance? Did or does the LASD communicate these types of issues as a matter of protocol to City Hall/Code Compliance/Planning? Does Mr. McFadden have any written communication with his landlord illuminating the problem and now refusal of his requests for assistance?

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