Report By: Nina Rai
31 Dec., 2011
An arsonist triggered off at least 21 carport fires within four hours causing extensive damage to cars, houses and apartment complexes. Now the police have announced a reward of up to $60,000 for his capture.
It was late Friday night of Dec. 30 that news started filtering in about fire billowing from different areas in the Hollywood area. By morning, firemen had doused six fires in West Hollywood, and 13 more within the city of Los Angeles and LA County plus the Hollywood area.
Both the law and arson enforcement authorities have put up a command post in Hollywood to share information. Their search is on for the suspect who still remains at large.
The law enforcement authorities have received reports from multiple witnesses about a person seen leaving the places of crime on a bicycle or motorcycle. The leads are credible according to investigators, since the alleged culprit was seen walking away briskly from the crime scene.
One lady managed to escape the fire in her apartment and even help in saving neighbors. Kelly Falvey says “I busted the fire extinguisher with my hand, and I cut my hand,” after which she yelled at everyone to get out of their homes.
Visibly bristling at the news conference on Friday, LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky declared “We want to get these S.O.B.’s before they hurt somebody.”
Hitting out directly at the arsonist, West Hollywood Mayor John Duran asked just what exactly was he thinking. According to Duran, the area is the densest section of Los Angeles and West Hollywood, with 20,000 people per square mile living in that region. “One fire out of control could cost dozens of lives,” he berated.
The police as yet have not been able to find out if there is one arsonist or several. However, they believe they have solid leads. Since their fire tenders were not all called simultaneously they do not think this is the handiwork of gang of arsonists.
LA City Fire Capt. Jaime Moore however said, “But we’re not positive. We haven’t ruled that out.” Later on Friday, even a vehicle was found being gutted in a LA Fitness gym’s parking garage.
This was close to Hollywood Boulevard and North Sycamore Avenue in Hollywood. It could not be ascertained if this again was the handiwork of the same arsonist. Investigating officers were being tight-lipped on the matter, however, one man whose car was gutted down, revealed that investigators discovered some useful evidence below his car.
According to the victim, Mark Lopez the police told him that they had found something, and were going to take it for investigation. They “found what they were looking for,” he added.
Meanwhile the authorities have urged the public too to help in nabbing the individual or individuals whoever is responsible for these crimes. They have said that if anyone sees something suspicious they should call 911.