Hollywood arson fires: Officials seek tips after string of blazes
Authorities are asking members of the public to step forward with information after a string of 19 arsons in West Hollywood and Hollywood damaged buildings and cars throughout the area.
Police are canvassing the neighborhoods and issued a citywide tactical alert at 12:45 a.m. The Los Angeles Fire Department also doubled the number of arson teams on call to four, after firefighters scrambled overnight to put out the fires.
Authorities said the fires could have led to loss of life or injury.
In total, four suspected arson fires occurred in West Hollywood and 15 in Hollywood, including a blaze at the former home of Jim Morrison.
Police said calls started coming in shortly after midnight with reports of car fires in West Hollywood. Flames consumed three vehicles near Sunset and Carson, and several apartment buildings were damaged as flames spread from the burning cars to the structures.
At 2:39 a.m., as many as four vehicles were set on fire near a two-story apartment building in Hollywood, police said. In another blaze at 4:03 a.m., a vehicle fire threatened a residential complex at 1439 N. Poinsettia Place.
The latest fires come a day after police arrested Samuel Arrington, 22, of Sunland in connection with three arsons that occurred on a five-block stretch of Sunset Boulevard on Thursday morning. Police are not sure if the 19 arsons are the work of a copycat or if they arrested the wrong person.
It is also not clear whether authorities are looking for one or multiple suspects.
-- Angel Jennings and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: The aftermath of a suspected arson fire in the 1000 block of Genessee Avenue. Credit: Ari Bloomekatz / Los Angeles Times