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Video shows Long Beach arsonist setting his arm on fire

December 6, 2011 |  7:57 am

Police in Long Beach have released video showing an arsonist who accidentally set his arm on fire while trying to burn down a business.

The short clip was played at a Monday news conference about a string of fires in the central part of town — 22 in the last six months. Authorities said they have been unable to determine if the heavyset man in the video, whom they estimate to be 18 to 25 years old, is responsible for all the arson cases.

On May 16, shortly after midnight, surveillance cameras mounted on the Green Room, a marijuana dispensary in Long Beach, recorded a hooded man carrying milk jugs apparently filled with gasoline.

Minutes later, the man is seen running away from the burning building with his right arm on fire.

Most of the fires have been in an area bordered by 14th Street on the north, 7th Street on the south, Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue on the west and Junipero Avenue on the east.

Authorities said they suspect the arsonist may live in that area.


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-- Ruben Vives in Long Beach