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New rash of arson fires hit L.A. area

January 2, 2012 |  3:16 am

Los Angeles police were investigating several new fires in the last two hours Monday that could be connected to a string of nearly four dozen arson blazes reported in the area since last Friday.

The fires were reported in cars or carports around Hollywood and in the San Fernando Valley.

Officials have not definitively linked the fires to the arson series but did confirm that they look similar to fires over the weekend.

FULL COVERAGE: Arson fires

The new fires come several hours after the LAPD asked for the public's help Sunday in identifying a "person of interest" in the series of fires in the Hollywood area (video above).

The still images below are taken from a video and show an older white male with a receding hairline and shoulder-length ponytail. He is wearing a black jacket and black pants.

His image was caught on a video that showed a car fire Saturday night inside the parking structure of the Hollywood & Highland Center on Hollywood Boulevard.

The LAPD asks residents to leave porch and carport lights on at night and make sure cars are locked. Authorities also ask residents to immediately report anything suspicious by calling 911.

Officials said Sunday that they have connected at least 39 fires, the first of which started early Friday morning in Hollywood. Most of the fires have occurred in the Hollywood and West Hollywood areas.

Early Saturday, nearly a dozen fires broke out in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

  image from media.trb.com



FULL COVERAGE: Arson fires

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Photos, from top: Images from surveillance video show a "person of interest," right, in the recent fires; an enlarged view of the person, wearing black pants and a black jacket. Credit: KTLA News