West Hollywood Residents On Alert After Arson Fires Continue

Yet another night on edge in West Hollywood and the Hollywood region, as over a dozen arson fires were set on Saturday night, which spooked the normally quiet region of town, and police on high alert for more fires tonight. Fire trucks are now parked in many residential neighborhoods, with hopes that they won’t be needed for more car fires, which has already caused well over $350,000 in property damages, and even have spread to some nearby homes. City officials continued to scramble on a busy New Year’s Eve to identify who was behind dozens of arson fires that have spooked the Hollywood area for two straight nights.

A blaze Saturday evening suggested it could be a long night for fire fighters and other law enforcement authorities. Firefighters quickly put out a car fire at about 6 p.m. in Hollywood that (“fits the profile of concern”) authorities have been following for the arsons, fire department spokesman Brian Humphrey said. It took 10 minutes for the crew of 10 fire fighters to put out the flames. Though no one has been injured yet, it’s being said that fears by authorities is that this is possibly the next step of the serial arsonist. Though some of the fires spread and damaged homes and apartments.

As New Year’s revelers hit the town, fears are very high that these fires could continue, and partygoers are asked to be on alert for strange or suspicious individuals or behavior.

Firefighters are 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? And why target cars, apparently at random? Though authorities are possibly looking for multiple suspects, police said on Saturday evening, they were looking for a man who was driving a mid-1990s Lexus sedan, but offered no further description or details.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photograph Courtesy: Link 81 Collection
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