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Hollywood arson spree: 'Your building is on fire'

December 30, 2011 | 11:30 am

Hollywood arson fires
Aaron Krugliak was asleep about 4 Friday morning when the ring of his phone startled him awake.

"Your building is on fire," said one of Krugliak's tenants in an apartment on Poinsettia Place, just south of Sunset. "You might want to get over here."

Krugliak jumped into his car for what should have been a 10-minute drive down Laurel Canyon Boulevard. But the trucks of firefighters battling another blaze presumably set by the arsonist had blocked the narrow street.

MAP: Hollywood arson fires

When he finally arrived at the simple, two-story building he's owned for five years, firefighters were still working to put out the flames.

"No injuries, thank God," he said Friday morning as he took a long drag on a cigarette and watched as a cleaning crew tossed the charred-remains of some window blinds out of the window of an upper-floor apartment.

The fire was started in the car port behind the building, most likely in one of the vehicles parked there. The melted, skeletal frames of two cars and a SUV sat completely ruined on metal wheel rims since the rubber tires had melted.  The charred roof of the wooden car port had collapsed inward.

"You'll probably have to demo the whole thing," an insurance adjuster told Krugliak.

Flames jumped across from the cars and port to the main apartment building, igniting the back two units. Their windows had blown out from the heat, littering the pavement with glass fragments. A city-issued recycling bin nearby was melted shut. By morning, workers had nailed plywood boards over the windows to prevent lookiloos and reporters from peering inside.

His tenants, Krugliak said, were awakened to the popping and crackling sounds of the fire raging outside their windows and did not see who set it.

Krugliak added that he had no reason to think he or his tenants had been a target of the arsonist or arsonists, but simply had the bad luck to be in the fiery path cut across Hollywood and West Hollywood. "Nineteen fires in a night, and we were just one of them," he said.


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-- Joel Rubin in Hollywood

Photo: Suyapa Herrera looks from the window of her burned apartment at 1156 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood on Friday. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times