More Arson Fires Reported

Firefighters extinguish a vehicle fire in a Hollywood carport and another at the parking structure at the Hollywood and Highland complex.

Another round of suspicous blazes kept firefighters busy throughout Saturday night in the Hollywood/West Hollywood area.

At least six cars went up in the flames in and around Hollywood as the
new year approached. So far, no injuries have been reported, but property damaging is mounting.

Police went to Sunset Boulevard and Havenhurst Drive shortly before 1 a.m. on reports of a possible suspect in a car matching the description of possible arson suspect's -- a white-and-tan, mid-90s model Lexus ES 300 -- but sheriff's deputies in West Hollywood said no arrests were made.

Some cars reportedly were doused with gasoline -- but not set afire -- in or near the 4500 block of Sunset Boulevard between midnight and about 2 a.m. today.

In West Hollywood, Los Angeles County firefighters responded to a fire at 1035 N. Sweetzer Ave., just steps from City Hall.

Firefighters found two vehicles on fire in an apartment carport, Don Kunitomi an on-scene fire inspector told the L.A. Times.

West Hollywood Mayor John Duran was at the scene, sending out updates on Twitter.

"This is now four nights in a row," Duran said. "Someone is going to get hurt. We’re all freaked out about it."

"It's one thing when it's 3:30 in the morning," he said. "It’s 9:30 at night on one of the busiest nights of the year."

Duran said sheriff's deputies and firefighters were working overtime Saturday to protect residents.

West Hollywood resident Lloyd Murphy, who lives in building nearby, stood across the street from the scene watching firefighters put away their equipment.

"It’s pretty worrying especially with how many of the fires there have been, how quickly, and how many people may be working together," he said.

More cars on fire reported in Hollywood

After 7 p.m. at Hollywood & Highland, firefighters responded to a report of a car on fire inside the parking structure, Humphrey told Patch. The fire was out by the time firefighters arrived, he said.

And yet another fire was reported in a carport at 1301 Mansfield Ave. at about 5:40 p.m. A vehicle burned but no one was injured. With 10 firefighters on the scene, the flames were confined to the vehicle in six minutes, Humphrey said. No injuries were immediately reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Those blazes followed at least 38 other suspicious fires set between Thursday night and Saturday morning, at least a dozen of which early Saturday morning.

"Our crews have been told they are going to be busy tonight, no question about it," said Humphrey, a veteran paramedic and department spokesman who has seen numerous New Year's Eve trends come and ago, such as people shooting guns in the air and huge rave parties.

"We are going into what we call 'augmented dispatch,' where we send extra crews to every call," he told City News Service. "If things get busy in one part of town, we will move crews in from another.

"People forget we will have all the extra and normal traffic that we normally have [on a holiday], like people having babies, and traffic crashes after midnight," he said.

— City News Service contributed to this report.


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