By Susan Payne
A 35-year-old bookstore was set on fire in North Hollywood in November and is believed to be a target of an alleged arson attack.
LA Fire responded to the call, seeing the front of the rear entrance of Iliad Bookshop, located at 5400 Calhuega, fully engulfed in flames after an unknown person or persons stacked up books and items left out by the store, according to the Los Angeles Blade.
Bookstore owner Daniel Weinstein told multiple news outlets that a flyer was left at the scene of the blaze, considered “terrorist.”
The extent of damage to the store’s inventory is unknown, according to the Blade.
To offset cost of repairs, the bookshop started a GoFundMe.
“We were very lucky: neighbors saw the flames and flagged down a passing fire truck; had the firefighters arrived mere moments later, the entire store would probably have gone up. As it is, we suffered heavy damage to the main entry. The doors (which are metal) are still functional, but will need to be either replaced or fixed. We lost lighting fixtures, signage, and wood framing; we also suffered damage to the mural on the right side of the doors. Smoke filled the interior of the store, but we were able to rescue our two cats Zeus and Apollo and we’re hopeful that the damage to the books and fixtures is minimal,” said Weinstein.
“We have high insurance deductibles, so we need to cover the cost of replacing the exterior lights, sign, and trim, and touching up the mural. We expect the funds we’re looking for to be divided between repair costs and a mural artist,” he continued in the GoFundMe description.
Iliad is known for its cozy mix of “librarial reverence and old lore magic,” according to magazine writer Augustus Britton.
“Weinstein’s 10 employees are awesome. There are no better poetic words to describe them. One could say they all look like fictional characters. Grateful Dead fans, Philip K. Dick spies or Stendhal savants eating Chinese food at the counter while the shop’s spunky cats Zeus and Apollo — more nods to Greek mythology — climb over their shoulders,” Brittan said about the bookstore.
LAFD’s arson investigators are currently looking into what caused the fire, according to the Blade.