Last week, traffic on two Los Angeles freeways came to a halt as fire crews responded to a massive inferno that incinerated a downtown luxury apartment complex under construction.

There is currently no cause that has been officially determined by arson investigators. The best lead in this case may be two men who were captured on video near the scene, in recordings taken shortly after the fire ignited.

Investigators asked for the public’s help Monday to identify two men seen on surveillance video taken the day of the massive apartment fire in downtown L.A. last week.

Two men authorities say are potential witnesses are seen in surveillance video walking in the area of the fire, which caused tens of millions of dollars in damage Dec. 8 to the seven-story Da Vinci Complex, 906 N. Fremont Ave..

The two individuals are not considered suspects or persons of interest, and investigators would like to interview them because they were in the area of the fire, officials said.

One edited video apparently shows a man in a black jacket, black pants and a black and white baseball cap grabbing at the fence around the apartment complex as it burned before firefighters pull him away from the fence, KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports.

…A second video shows a different man, wearing a football jersey with the number 21, a backpack and a baseball cap walking by the area.

A CBS Local video reviews the details as they are known:

As a reminder, the investigators have a hotline number — (213) 893-9850 — and urge tipsters to call in with any information relevant to this event.

Interestingly, the Los Angeles Times offers an intriguing testament to the real state of the economy in a report about the fire’s impact on the local homeless community.

…Residents say that during the last year they’ve seen downtown homeless encampments sprout like mushrooms after a rainstorm. But the people inside remained largely invisible, bursting into public view last week with the ferocious Da Vinci apartment fire, which broke out steps away from a dozen people clumped in a shantytown under a freeway overpass.
lRelated Da Vinci fire poses tough puzzle for investigators

There was no Red Cross center, clothes or aid for these homeless people, as there might have been if they lived indoors. Los Angeles City Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Butler said that authorities gladly would have helped but that the homeless people “self-evacuated.”

Rows of shopping carts, mattresses, canned food and two cats were impounded as part of the fire investigation; arson is suspected. The homeless people’s belongings were released early Friday, and the owners began trickling back.

“Hopefully, they will repopulate,” Butler said.

Given the trajectory of economic and regulatory policies implemented by Washington and Sacramento, they will not only repopulate, but there will be even more homeless to join the ranks.