Previously Convicted ’Serial Arsonist’ Suspected of Setting 11 Fires in Studio City

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A man previously convicted of arson was arrested Friday morning after allegedly setting 11 fires in Studio City. Firefighters were called about 6 a.m. to respond to one of the fires, which had been set in the 11300 block of West Ventura Boulevard, Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Erik Scott said. When crews arrived they discovered it was actually a dumpster burning behind the structure. Ten other fires, involving dumpsters, rubbish and autos, erupted within several blocks in either direction between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., officials said. An arson team was sent to the area to investigate. “Due to the close proximity and due to the close time frame of these fires, we are investigating them as a possible arson,” Scott said. Fire crews quickly extinguished all of the blazes and officials began to search for a possible suspect. Surveillance video helped investigators determine a person of interest who was later captured and arrested, Capt. Patrick Leonard said. The suspect has not been named but was described as a “previously convicted serial arsonist,” by the Los Angeles Fire Department. No further information on the suspects past, or the fires he was convicted of setting, was immediately released. Although no one was injured in any of the 11 fires, Leonard described them as a “significant threat to the community.” The fires were all set during times when people were likely sleeping and any one of them could have grown into a larger, more dangerous situation, he said. “One of them was next to a gas station, so we could have had explosions,” Leonard said. No structures were damaged as a result of the fires.
Investigators take an alleged arsonist into custody in San Bernardino on Aug 22, 2019. (Credit: San Bernardino County Fire Department)
Investigators take an alleged arsonist into custody in San Bernardino on Aug 22, 2019. (Credit: San Bernardino County Fire Department)
Authorities in San Bernardino also arrested an alleged arsonist on Thursday evening. Fire Marshal’s investigators were conducting a stakeout near Rialto Avenue and G Street following a series of recent suspicious fires when they spotted a 35-year-old transient igniting brush, San Bernardino Fire Department officials said in a written statement. The man’s possible connection to the previous string of fires remained under investigation. KTLA’s Brian Day contributed to this report.

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