LOS ANGELES – A Studio City couple were victims of suspected arson, but they say they were unable to file a report with the Los Angeles Police Department or the City of Fire Department. Los Angeles.
The incident happened around 10pm on Friday at their Wrightwood Lane home. David and Stacy Wilde said they had family over for dinner that night.
“I said, ‘Let me walk you home.’ So we went out through these doors and we walked halfway across the yard and he said, “There’s smoke coming in,” and I said, “What? We opened the door and we looked in the backseat of the car and the car was on fire and smoke was coming out of the windows and the ceiling and I said, ‘We have to call the fire department.’ Within minutes the car was on fire and at the same time I heard this woman shouting from the street that the car was on fire,” David said.
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Surveillance video of the couple’s home shows flames lighting through the opaque front doors that blocked the entrance to the house. The car was destroyed and the fire left thousands of dollars in damage.
David called the Los Angeles Fire Department.
“I just phoned and called the fire department and then took another look to see what was going on and it was bad. The flames were about 15ft high in the air and I I could see the car was finished,” David said.
Stacy and David said a group of neighbors came in to help put out the flames with garden hoses.
“Really, it was the angels who really put out the fire,” Stacy said.
Stacy said firefighters arrived at their home about 15 minutes after the incident and deemed it an arson attack. However, officials did not take a report.
“We love LA. We came here from the east coast and it was a dream to be here in the business and it’s our dream. We love it here and that’s why we wanted to tell our story. Things happen It’s a crazy time in the big city so it’s not so much the incident [itself]. The incident happens, we understand it. It’s the fact that the fire department didn’t take the report, which is weird and all the time I’ve been on the phone with the police,” Stacy said.
Stacy detailed her phone call with LAPD.
“You call the police and they ask if you’re fatally injured. I said no, and boom, before I said no, I’m on an answering machine, and I know about it and it took 45 minutes to a dispatcher to pick up the phone and I told them what happened and they said, this is not our jurisdiction,” Stacy said.
Stacy said she was told to contact the LAFD’s Risk Management Department and was given an incident number by the police to give to the LAFD.
“I get up the next day to call the fire department, and it goes straight to voicemail, and says, ‘Due to the COVID emergency, we’re closed, please file online. OK, fair enough. I go online and online has a different story and that’s where I get a little suspicious. The story is due to budget constraints, we are closed indefinitely. There is absolutely no one to report it to,” Stacy said.
Stacy said she started calling a series of police numbers within the department and all of their voicemails were full.
“The fact that something like this is happening and can endanger a community to such an extent and it’s not to be reported. We don’t know what to do. I want them to [officials] to tell us what to do. I want someone to call. I want someone from the city council, Paul Krekorian, to call me,” Stacy said.
FOX 11 contacted the LAPD and LAPD officials said normally the LAFD would alert the police and either their officers or the LAFD would send their own team to investigate further.
LAFD officials told FOX 11 they do not normally conduct arson investigations for car fires without injuries, and added that such incidents are normally handled by insurance after the fact unless there is solid evidence like a clear photo of a suspect in the case. In this case, it is possible that an investigation will be opened. However, LAFD said their arson department is small and doesn’t normally handle cases like the Wilde’s.
FOX 11 reached out to Krekorian’s office for comment late Monday night and has yet to receive a response.
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