61-Year-Old Man Charged With Arson in String of Studio City Fires

A man suspected in a series of fires in the Studio City area is taken into custody on Aug. 23, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

A man suspected in a series of fires in the Studio City area is taken into custody on Aug. 23, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

A man police describe as a previously convicted serial arsonist was charged Tuesday in a series of fires that broke out across Studio City last week, fire officials said.

John Hasekian, 61, faces two counts of arson of a structure and 10 counts of arson of property, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

He’s accused in a string of 11 blazes that broke out early last Friday, Aug. 23.

After first responding to a dumpster burning behind a building in the 11300 block of West Ventura Boulevard, officials discovered another 10 fires involving dumpsters, trash and cars within several blocks between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Although no one was hurt, firefighters said the blazes were dangerous since they were set while many were still asleep, and one of them was next to a gas station.

Their close proximity and time frame suggested arson as a cause, investigators said.

Surveillance video helped identify Hasekian as a suspect, and he was arrested later on Friday.

Authorities have not released details on the previous fires they say he was convicted in.

Firefighters say charges were filed in last week’s case after they presented a felony complaint to the county District Attorney’s Office Tuesday morning.

Hasekian was being held on $700,000 bail and scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, according to LAFD.

A preliminary hearing is expected to take place within the next few weeks, fire officials said.

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