Beloved North Hollywood Book Store Suffers Damages After Fire

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The owner of the Iliad book shop in North Hollywood says, at first, he thought anti-semitism might be behind this fiery attack, but now he's not so sure.

Whatever the cause, people have been generously stepping up to help.

For 35 years, The Iliad Bookshop has served bibliophiles from all over Southern California.

Among them, Christa Escarzaga, her daughter Holland and husband Mike are Orange County fans who make the drive on a regular basis.

“People that really like books? They're gonna they're gonna give,” Christa said. 

And they've done that far beyond owner Dan Weinstein's expectations.

His Go Fund Me page, with an initial goal of five thousand dollars, has already raised more than 33,000. 


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Writers and celebrities, like comedian Patton Oswalt, have been leading the charge on social media.

“I can't tell you how warm my heart is from all the outpouring,” Dan Weinstein, owner of Iliad book shop, said. 

Last Thursday night at around 11:30 p.m., a neighbor called Dan at home."Your store is on fire," they said.

“The 25 minutes it took to get here were probably the longest 25 minutes of my life,” Weinstein said.

Luckily, the flames didn't penetrate the front door and two cats inside, Apollo and Zeus were unharmed.

Photos of the aftermath showed a pile of burned books.

For years, Dan has left boxes of them, just outside the door, free for the taking. They were always off to the side, but not that night.

The arsonist took books and piled them up in front of the door, kindling for the mini-inferno that followed.

LA city fire confirmed that "no arson investigation has been launched." For now, the blaze that could've destroyed Dan's life's work, is being called a "rubbish fire."

A frustrating statement for Dan, who couldn't get the Los Angeles Police Department to investigate either.

He even showed them strange fliers, filled with rants and conspiracy theories, posted near the entrance that night. “I tried to file a report and didn't get very far,” Weinstein said. 

Still, for what he's not getting from law enforcement he's definitely getting from long-time Iliad fans. 

Some bought extra books, while others donated online, and all were relieved this landmark store is still standing.

Dan says he'll use some of those generous donations to beef up security here. An even stronger door and surveillance cameras, just to start.

And those books he used to leave outside, will now get locked inside, every night.

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