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LA cars, homes ablaze in massive arson spree

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, December 31, 2011 12:18 EDT
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Police in Los Angeles, with help from federal investigators, were searching Saturday for one or more suspects said to have set more than 30 vehicle fires in one of the worst arson sprees in city history.

Fire officials said they have responded to some 30 fires, including 13 cases of vehicle fire, in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles from late Friday into early Saturday.

During the previous night, there were 21 fires set in Hollywood and West Hollywood according to the Los Angeles Times. In many cases, the fires appeared to have been set within minutes of each other.

Los Angeles Deputy Fire Chief Mario Rueda described it as “a night of managing chaos.”

The attacks began as vehicle fires but the flames sometimes spread to nearby homes and buildings. Damaged property included a Hollywood Hills home where The Doors singer Jim Morrison once lived.

Investigators have not said how the fires were started, or if they believe one or several people are responsible.

At least two people are under arrest, according to media reports, including a 22 year-old man charged with starting three fires on Thursday. But they were behind bars overnight Friday when new blazes broke out.

“It’s too early to say whether we have a copycat,” Jaime Moore, a captain in the Los Angeles Fire Department, told the Times.

City and county officials, along with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF), have posted a reward of $60,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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