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Firefighters now responding to nine fires this morning

January 2, 2012 |  3:40 am

A vacant church on Gramercy St. between Hollywood Blvd. and N. Franklin Place burned early Sunday evening.

Firefighters are responding to nine fires this morning in the Hollywood/West Hollywood area, all apparently started simultaneously, officials said.

"The last one was in West Hollywood," said Capt. Jaime Moore, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman, in a quick interview with The Times in an emergency vehicle with its siren shrieking in the background. "I don't have any more time to talk."

The first fires broke out shortly after 1:30 a.m. at apartment carports in the Laurel Canyon and Hollywood areas, officials said. Moore confirmed the fires to be in the 1700 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Hollywood, the 8500 block of Eastwood Road in the Hollywood Hills, the 4300 block of Greenbush Avenue and the 4200 block of Sunnyslope Avenue in Sherman Oaks.

Those calls were followed by reports of an additional five fires, though the addresses of those blazes were not immediately available.

However, the L.A. County Fire Department is tweeting that one address is 529 Alfred St. at Rosewood Avenue and includes two cars fully engulfed in flames under a carport. The address is believed to be an apartment complex.

No injuries had been reported, Moore said.

Officials said Sunday that they have linked at least 39 fires to a series of arsons that began Friday morning in Hollywood. At a news conference Sunday morning, officials said many of the fires have been started in cars and in some cases spread to carports, garages and apartments.

They declined to say what evidence tied the cases together or give more information about how the fires were set. Law enforcement sources told The Times that detectives were concerned that releasing more information could prompt the arsonist or arsonists to change tactics and could encourage copycats.


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Photo: A vacant church on Gramercy Street near Hollywood Boulevard burned early Sunday evening. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times