With the recent arrest of Harry Burkhart, a 24-year-old German national, who is suspected of being responsible for setting 53 fires around Los Angeles, including at least 16 in the North Hollywood area and others in nearby neighborhoods, many North Hollywood residents were reminded of another set of dangerous and brazen arson fires that occurred over the summer in North Hollywood.
The circumstances and facts of the summer fires and the recent ones are eerily similar. One can only speculate, but it is hard not to wonder if the person or persons responsible for the recent L.A. arson fires weren't at least in part inspired by the North Hollywood arson fires in July and August, which made big headlines around the city and country. Both arsonists primarily targeted vehicles parked near houses or apartment buildings, both lit many of their fires in the wee hours of the morning, and both struck on continuous nights with mutiple fires. The prime suspects in the two cases were arrested almost exactly five months apart, on Aug. 3 and Jan. 2.
This summer, the drama began in the early hours of July 21 with a series of car and mobile home fires and lasted four straight nights. At least 19 fires were set over a small area in North Hollywood, and then just as suddenly as they began, they stopped.
Ten days later, the fires began again. However, this time, the LAPD and LAFD were on high alert and following their prime suspect, arresting him after he allegedly set two more fires. North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch was following the events as they unfolded, and was listening to the police scanner as the LAPD and LAFD followed the suspect, Kurt Billie, and closed in on him. Listen to the here.
Read our series of stories on the July fires and the recent ones here:
Patch's Complete Coverage of the Recent Arson Fires: