Arsonists in Los Angeles ring in 2012 with an unmitigated string of fires set across the city

Sunday, January 1, 2012
By Paul Martin
January 1, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA – On what would already be one of their busiest nights of the year, police and firefighters Saturday will be patrolling neighborhoods, taking hotline phone calls and scrambling to identify who was behind the arson fires that have spooked the Hollywood area for two straight nights and were making it an uneasy New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles. Several vehicles were set ablaze in 13 fires set between midnight and 6 a.m. Saturday, mostly in North Hollywood. Officials said they bore a resemblance to the nearly two dozen fires set in and around Hollywood a day earlier. Though some of the fires spread and damaged homes and apartments, no one has been injured. Cops race to stop Hollywood-area arson car fires. Firefighters chase arson fires in Hollywood area. But some residents were on edge as authorities ramped up efforts to catch the culprit or culprits on a night when police and fire resources are always stretched thin as drunken New Year’s revelers hit the town. “We’re pulling out all the stops,” fire department spokesman Brian Humphrey said Saturday. “We’re hoping that the person or people responsible will be brought to swift and complete justice.” Firefighters were to be stationed around the city to respond to emergencies, while authorities set up a hotline and pored through tips. Authorities also were interviewing witnesses, looking at video footage for clues and have announced at least $35,000 in rewards for information leading to a conviction. Among the most pressing questions: Were the fires set by a serial arsonist, multiple people or copycats?

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