Fire destroys 12 "Tiny Homes" at a Los Angeles encampment

A rampant blaze, started by an overheating lithium-ion battery, destroyed a dozen Tiny Homes at the West Los Angeles' Veteran's Administration encampment. The speed and intensity with which the fire spread, and the difficulties in accessing a poorly planned out facility, highlight the need for permanent housing solutions built to the same minimum building safety requirements as any other citizen residence.

While cheap and easy to build, the pallet shelters seem to be quite flammable.


"I could see the flames billowing over the fence," says Rob Reynolds, an advocate for unhoused veterans who arrived on the scene shortly after the fire blazed. "I pulled in and there was, like, between 10 and 15 on fire. I just thought, 'Oh god, someone's gonna be in their tiny home.' Thankfully, everyone was able to get out and no one was injured."

The LAFD extinguished the flames within 15 minutes. The department says they determined the fire was "electrical in nature," and "related to the apparent overheating of a lithium battery being charged in one of the Tiny Homes."

Patrick, a veteran resident of the Tiny Home encampment who lost his Tiny Home to the fire witnessed the LAFD response. He said that it appeared difficult for the fire trucks to maneuver around the encampment because of its density and a lack of available areas for them to park near the site.