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Substance found near Station fire ignition point is key evidence in arson probe [Updated]

Investigators believe a substance found near the Station fire’s point of origin helped spread the deadly blaze, and it has emerged as key piece of evidence in the arson probe, a source told The Times.

The source would not identify the substance but said it was found in the brush off Angeles Crest Highway, walking distance from the road turnoff that is at the center of the arson probe.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it was an ongoing investigation, said the substance was taken to a lab for testing to further verify arson investigators' findings. The recovered material is not a device, according to the source.

“There was material that didn't belong there. It was clear evidence that the fire was intentionally set,” the source said.

Sources said that investigators are going through a database of arson suspects and fire bugs to search for possible suspects.

[Updated at 7:15 p.m.: The governor tonight offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the arsonist.]

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said investigators don't want to release details out of fear they could hurt their ability to find and prosecute an arsonist.

Baca stressed that the homicide probe is still wide open; he said investigators believe that the fire was set deliberately by someone intent on triggering a devastating blaze but that there is a possibility it could have been sparked accidentally by a negligent person. Either way, the sheriff said, the department could pursue homicide charges.

Two firefighters were killed in the blaze.

"If an arsonist did this, everyone should be angry about it," Baca told The Times. "This is one of the most unacceptable crimes."

On Wednesday, authorities cordoned off an area near Mile Marker 29 along Angeles Crest Highway with yellow tape, blocking the highway as investigators searched through ash under a scorched oak tree. Even Caltrans workers were turned away.

-- Richard  Winton

 
Comments () | Archives (10)

This new information is something I overheard about 10 guys talking AND bragging about. The REAL news is this....This group of 'jags' were absolutely right-wing extremists, as in "Today's GOP"... All were "excited" about what happened, all were definitely Racists, and all were 'definitely' screaming about having an African-American president. This group KNEW what happened, and ALL were right out of today's Republican Party....which we all agree is at its "highest" on the disgusting ladder!!! This needs to be known all across America...It is extremely EASY to believe, isn't it!!!!!

What a great way to PAYBACK LA County for the HORRIFYING TORTURE received in their JAILS for a crime you did not do.....WAY TO GO!

For personal reasons 90% ot this time I am against the death penality as a crime detrenet . Then there is the 10 % time it should be applied. If they ever caught the person or person who did this , let them fry . Many years ago in Topanga Canyon had a terrible fire causing death and destruction. They found incindery devices that where set to timers and it was a two day hike to set these divices.

I also remeber a fire that started in Sylmar , burninng across the top off The San Ferando Valley, Chatsworth ,
Hidden Hills , jumping the 101 Interstate Highway buring to the Pacific Ocean . The fire depts. had to make a path to allow this to happen as it was to huge to put out.

Once again someone or some group had set off incendry devices . There should be a "Special Place in Hell "
for these sick people .

I do have Deylixia and I try to proff read and remove all spelling errors but at times they get thru.

Every crime is unacceptable!

It was a rusty piece of tailpipe from a Forest service vehicle, according to undisclosed sources at CNN.

I'm mute with outrage.

$100,000: Dead or alive would be justice. Two people are dead because of this poor excuse for a human.

It is to be hoped that the arson investigation now proceeds with utmost despatch. Equally, it is important that over-zealous press persons not break stories pre-maturely, causing an impediment to a successful apprehension of the possible arsonist(s).

Preparing us in the even of a fire like preparing and having drill for an earth quake should be a priority and mandatory for each city and county. It is more likely that a fire will occur for whatever reason every season and thorugh the year than an earquake hiting the area soon. I think it will be cost, life and risk saving to employed trained people to be "fire watch personnel" and equip them to act inmediatelly after a fire breaks up in the woods. This will prevent or lessen the devastanting damages or any catastrophic event such as the one we going through. Prevention instead of intervention is the key to save the environment thus preventing innecessary expenses and risking the lives of our firefighters.

I am willing to volunteer organizing the community.

the undersigned
A concerned resident working in Pasadena for the elder

firemen need overtime cant wait for payday


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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