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Man questioned in string of North Hollywood fires

July 29, 2011 | 10:18 am

North Hollywood fires
A homeless man was detained and questioned Friday morning in connection with a string of suspicious fires in North Hollywood, officials said.

The man was sleeping in his car next to a bag of burning paper in a parking lot, prompting authorities to detain him for questioning, said Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators. He was later released, they said.

Firefighters responded to at least a dozen fires between 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Sunday, and other  incidents are under investigation in connection with the case, officials said.

Most of the fires were set to vehicles in carports that extended into nearby structures along Lankershim Boulevard between Burbank Boulevard and Saticoy Street.

Though most were set Sunday, officials said the first was in the early morning hours of July 21.

The LAFD issued a statement Sunday urging residents to take precautions and reduce the threat of arson by cleaning up dry vegetation, trash and debris on their properties, as well as locking vehicles and placing trash within covered bins.

Beefed-up police patrols are monitoring the area, officials said, and the LAFD arson section is still investigating the case. Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call LAFD at (213) 485-6095 or (213) 485-4701.

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-- Kate Mather

Photo: A series of suspected arson fires in North Hollywood are under investigation. Credit: KTLA

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