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13 new fires overnight tied to L.A. serial arsonist, officials say

December 31, 2011 |  6:34 am

Los Angeles fire officials said they are investigating 13 new arson fires overnight that they believe are linked to series of fires in Hollywood the night before.

Most of the new fires occurred in the North Hollywood area, while three happened in the Fairfax district, officials said.

On Friday morning, 21 fires were set in Hollywood and West Hollywood, making it one of the worst arson rampages in recent Los Angeles history.

Photos: Hollywood arson fires

Among the properties damaged was the Hollywood Hills home where The Doors' Jim Morrison once lived and which inspired his song "Love Street."

The night left L.A.-area residents on edge and investigators perplexed as they began the painstaking search for clues on who had set the fires and why.

Nearly all of the fires started with a vehicle being set ablaze. Several times, however, the flames jumped to nearby apartment buildings or houses, causing significant damage at some of the locations.

Estimates on the total cost of the damage were not available, although officials from the Los Angeles County Fire Department said that four fires set in West Hollywood alone destroyed about $350,000 worth of cars and property.

One firefighter suffered back and neck injuries and was taken to a hospital. His condition was not thought to be serious.

Investigators and experts said the fires were highly unusual for even a serial arsonist because of the sheer number of fires in a relatively short period of time. Officials have not said how the fires were set or whether they believe one or more people are responsible.


Officials seek tips after string of blazes

Hollywood arson spree: Cars make easy fire targets, expert says

Hollywood arson spree: Ruin, wreckage at Jim Morrison's former home

--Andrew Blankstein

Photo: A woman surveys damage at her Hollywood home. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times