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West Hollywood News

WeHo Arsons Among 21 In L.A.
Posted by Daniel Antolin on Dec 31, 2011 - 10:53:51 PM

A Hollywood area car port fire. Photo courtesy of LAFD.
WEST HOLLYWOODDuring the early morning hours of Friday, December 30, West Hollywood deputies and Los Angeles firefighters responded to calls alerting them about five separate blazes that began when vehicles in car ports caught fire. They were later determined to be acts of arson.

Kelley Fraser, captain of the West Hollywood Sheriff's Station, said, "There has been a significant increase in deputies on patrol throughout West Hollywood over the past few days. But this is not over."

"We all need to work together to put a stop to this. We will continue to have an increased deployment and are asking everyone to please, If You See Something, Say Something," Fraser said.

Three fires were reported within minutes of one another between 12:23 a.m. and 12:34 a.m. in the eastern portion of the city. They took place on the 7700 block of Romaine Street, the 1000 block of Genessee Avenue and the 1200 block of Curson Avenue.

Two other fires were later reported in the western portion of the city at about 2 a.m., causing 50 people to evacuate an apartment on the 1200 block of Harper Avenue for their own safety. They were later allowed to reenter.

Firefighters putting out a Hollywood area car port fire. Photo courtesy of LAFD.
Jon O'Brien, chief with the L.A. County Fire Department Battalion, said the total property damage estimate is $350,000: $185,000 for 10 vehicles, $150,000 for four structures and $15,000 for personal property.

Since the five fires were reported, four other arsons and one attempted arson took place in Hollywood. One of the fires reportedly damaged the former Laurel Canyon home of Jim Morrison of The Doors. Like in the West Hollywood fires, this incident began as a vehicle fire that spread to the house.

LAPD North Hollywood reported on December 31 working on several fires that recently occurred in the department's jurisdiction matching the types of incidents that were reported in Hollywood.

"The City of West Hollywood arson fires are definitely related to the LA City fires," said Ed Nordskog, a detective with the L.A. County Sheriff's Arson/Explosive Detail.

Twenty-one fires in total have been reported in L.A. County as late as of New Year's Eve.

"Arsonists often like to watch fires they set," Nordskog said. "Please contact us if you noticed anything suspicious. Someone likely saw something they may not think was important, but all clues are good clues right now."

Anyone with information to report regarding these incidents can call the arson/explosive detail at 323-881-7500.


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