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UPDATE: Arson Suspect Former Marine Imprisoned for Fires in Japan

The man is the one believed to have set possibly 20 fires in the North Hollywood area in July.

A man arrested on suspicion of torching a motor home in North Hollywood today was suspected in setting 20 or more recent arson fires in the area, and authorities identified him as a former Marine who was jailed for five years in Japan for setting restaurants on fire there.

Kurt Billie, 34, of North Hollywood, was arrested in the wake of a 4 a.m. fire in the 7500 block of Troost Avenue, Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French said. The Air Force Times newspaper identified him a former Marine who spent five years in prison for setting fire to several restaurants in Okinawa.

Investigators were following Billie and arrested him near Lankershim Boulevard and Valerio Street.

A series of vehicle and structure fires broke out early July 21 through 24, starting around 3 a.m. each day. The fires broke between Lankershim and Laurel Canyon boulevards and Vanowen Street and Laurel Canyon Boulevard.

Billie was jailed at the Van Nuys Station in lieu of $250,000 bail.

larry August 02, 2011 at 03:00 PM
Good job catching this guy.......
Pat August 02, 2011 at 10:46 PM
Good, they got him.
LABornAndRaised August 03, 2011 at 12:38 AM
Go NoHo LAPD! You guys rock!
Skraeling August 03, 2011 at 05:23 AM
glad they caught him but to be perfectly honest,I was kind of hoping he would torch those billboards that are lining every street in town advertising "thai massage" or bail bonds or whatever....
joyce August 03, 2011 at 04:58 PM
So sorry he was "allowed" to set fire to the mobile home. That's property that meant a whole lot to the owners' lifestyle. It was for the greater good, and I understand that. Just sorry for the people who were affected.
larry August 03, 2011 at 05:05 PM
I want to see his picture and find out how he got around... Anyone know?????
larry August 03, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Why all the secrecy?????
Judy January 02, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Black minivan... Dodge, I think. Saw him and the van and his arrest early this AM on ABC7, Los Angeles.
Craig Clough (Editor) January 02, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Judy, you are correct, there was a person detained by police this morning. But this story you have posted this comment on is from this summer. This story is about a separate string of arson fires that rocked the North Hollywood area in late July and early August.
joyce January 02, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Thank you for your clarification, Ted. I kept searching the updated article to find the connection to the current arsonist, but couldn't find one.
Skraeling January 02, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Gotta agree there....is there anything else being developed in Studio City besides, Thai Massage and drug stores and Sec 8 housing?

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