Man held in LA fires probe

POLICE arrested a man yesterday in connection with a wave of 53 arson fires targeting cars and structures, which caused more than $2 million (€1.54m) in damages and left nerves in the second-largest US city badly frayed.

Police declined to identify the man but said he was taken into custody in Hollywood after a sheriff’s deputy spotted him driving a van similar to one being sought in connection with the fires.

Los Angeles City Fire Department Captain Jamie Moore said at a press briefing the suspect resembled a “person of interest” caught on surveillance videotape near several of the arsons.

The man was taken into custody after a series of fires broke out in cars and structures in Hollywood and surrounding areas.

Most of the fires were thought to have been started by the same arsonist in cars and some spread to carports and homes.

“Our task force is continuing. We are continuing to work around the clock,” Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith said. “We are not stopping. We are going to continue through the night.”

One firefighter was treated for injuries suffered at the site of a blaze.

One of the fires damaged a house in the Hollywood Hills where late rocker Jim Morrison was inspired to write the 1968 song Love Street about his girlfriend.

* Reuters

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