A “person of interest” has been taken into custody in connection with the string of arson-related fires in the city over recent days, including at least 12 more blazes overnight, our colleagues at KPCC report.
The station adds that:
“Early Monday morning, firefighters and police sped from one blaze to another in West Hollywood, on Laurel Canyon Road and in Sherman Oaks. Firefighters blocked access to Laurel Canyon road and stopped vehicles trying to enter the pass.”
Then, according to the Los Angeles Times, “the suspect, believed to be the man in a video police released Sunday, was detained near Sunset Boulevard this morning, said an LAPD source familiar with the investigation into the case. However, in a statement, a Los Angeles fire official said ‘it is too early to speculate if this person responsible for the spree arson fires.’ “
That statement from LAFD spokesman Erik Scott, is posted on the department’s LAFD ALERT blog. There, he also says that “a total of 55 fires of concern have broke out in the Los Angeles area over the last four days from 12/30/11 to 01/02/12. 45 fires in the Los Angeles area, nine in West Hollywood, and one in Burbank.”
As KPCC says, Los Angeles police are calling the string of fires “the worst since the 1992 riots. Many have “been started in cars [hence the references by some to “carbeques”] and in some cases spread to carports, garages and apartments,” the Times adds.
Among the structures damaged was a home once lived in by Jim Morrison of The Doors.
(Note: we’re mostly “off” today — though we are helping our friends at It’s All Politics with some of the Iowa caucuses coverage. But we will pop in a few times today, we expect, as news warrants.)