LOS ANGELES (2UrbanGirls) – The company at the heart of an investigation into a massive blaze under a Los Angeles freeway is pushing back against claims made by the state about the property they leased from Caltrans.
“Since at least October of this year, at the direction of the California Department of Transportation (“CalTrans”) Apex has not been able to access the premises,” in a satement reported by KNX News.
“Apex rented and improved the rundown yard and made substantial capital investments during the period that it had possession of the yard.”
The company acknowledged the eviction suit but says it was retaliation for a lawsuit Apex brought against CalTrans in June for, “CalTrans’ breach of agreement related to Apex’s capital improvements to the premises and the escalating issue of the unhoused.”
Apex also said, that during their lease, Caltrans inspected the premises at least once a year and was fully aware of the sublessees.
“It is unfortunate that Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Karen Bass have used this incident to speculate and mischaracterize Apex and its principals as “bad actors” to excuse their own failures to adequately address the public safety issues caused by the unhoused,” said the statement.
The company said on multiple occasions, employees called the Los Angeles Fire Department to report fires started by unhoused in the area but were “treated dismissively.”
A subleasee reiterated those same claims to the Los Angeles Times.
“Fires regularly broke out in encampments around the property but calls to police or for cleanups often went unheeded,” said Rudy Serafin, a tenant who rented space from Apex.