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L.A. to speed up building permits for arson victims

January 4, 2012 |  3:04 pm

An emergency motion was passed Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council calling for a speedy review of building permits for property owners who sustained damage during the recent rash of arson fires.

The council unanimously voted to ask the Department of Building and Safety to expedite the lengthy permit process builders need before construction.

The motion was spearheaded by Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district was hard-hit by the fires, and was seconded by Councilman Paul Koretz, whose district also was affected.  

Over the New Year's weekend, more than 50 fires were set in and around the Hollywood area.  The attacks began early Friday and carried on over a four-night span until a suspect was arrested.

The fires, in many cases, started in cars parked in carports and then spread to the adjacent building. The exterior of many apartment buildings and single-family homes were charred during the attacks.

Authorities estimated that the fires caused more $3 million in property damage.

Harry Buckhart, 24, was arrested Monday and charged Wednesday with 37 counts of arson.

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-- Angel Jennings

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