Los Angeles

NBC4 I-Team Call to Mayor Triggers Cleanup in LA’s Fashion District

What a difference a day makes.

After the NBCLA I-Team exposed a massive mess — 12 tons of rotting, rat-infested trash piling up for longer than a year in LA's Fashion District — the city of Los Angeles responded with an emergency cleanup.

People who work and shop in the Fashion District have had to put up with a smelly mountain of garbage and armies of rats — until Friday. Now it's all gone.

It's a far cry what it looked like 24 hours ago, when the I-Team's Joel Grover spoke by phone with Mayor Eric Garcetti, who's in Hawaii for a conference.

Following the call, Garcetti immediately called the chief of sanitation.

Sanitation employees quickly moved in, working for almost nine hours straight, to haul away the tons of garbage. It was illegally dumped in the former clothing showroom and the adjacent public alley after the building burned in a fire 16 months ago.

Since then, the city has received 23 calls to 311 about the property on East Pico Boulevard. The 311 number is where the public can report garbage on public roads.

"The only time the city responds is when you're doing a report Rena Leddy said.

Leddy represents business owners in LA's Fashion District.

Since a 2018 fire, trash has been piling up at the former site of a Fashion District store. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Thursday June 27, 2019.

"We can't keep doing crisis management this way," Leddy said.

The Health Department issued a "courtesy notice" six months ago to the building's owner to clean up the trash and rodent infestation, but never followed up.

The Department of Building and safety never ordered a cleanup until NBCLA made inquiries this week.

After a fire in February 2018, this former clothing store became a neighborhood trash bin in Los Angeles' famed Fashion District. More than a year later, drone video captures the mountain of rat-infested garbage.

Within hours of the Pico Boulevard cleanup, the I-Team noticed homeless people who had been living amid the trash heaps already moving back in via aerial footage.

"Honestly, the city's in a crisis level right now," Leddy said.

Read the first report that kicked off the cleanup here.

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