North Hollywood, LA, CA – The Iliad Bookshop in North Hollywood will be temporarily closed after being damaged in a fire on Friday.
Firefighters rushed to the store located on Cahuenga Boulevard at around 11 p.m. Thursday evening, acting quickly enough to prevent the flames from spreading throughout the massive bookstore. The fire did however leave some noticeable scorch marks on the front entrance of the store, and while the interior only suffered smoke damage, with some charred books left behind, the allegedly targeted attack leaves much more of an impact on the owners.
Dan Weinstein, who has owned The Iliad Bookshop for the last 17 years, is thankful that his cats, two of which often greet customers at the store, were unharmed in the incident.
He says that a flier left at the scene has him suspicious of the fire’s origin, because even though it’s hard to make sense of the rambling message, he’s paid close enough attention to the recent incidents throughout Los Angeles County that he believes he may just be the latest victim of antisemitism.
“It could have been, I mean I’m Jewish, so maybe the antisemitism movement that’s happening,” Weinstein said, noting that he’s never had an issue during his ownership prior to Thursday. “Maybe I’m a victim of that. Maybe somebody just didn’t like our customer service here.”
While arson investigators are working to determine who or what caused the blaze, Weinstein is hoping that he’ll be able to open up for business on Saturday, propping several fans throughout the store to expel the smoke that lingered inside Friday afternoon.
“I started this business with 2,000 books, now I have 150,000,” he said. “So, something I’ve built over the years and it would make me very sad to have to close it.”
He says that depending on the condition of the books, he could still be forced to sell the business, something which he’ll assess over coming days.