LOS ANGELES - As of 8:00 AM on January 1st, 2012, 39 fires of concern have broke out in the Los Angeles area over the last three days. The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responded to over 3300 calls in the past 72 hours and had a 17% increase in emergencies. This is in addition to the previously mentioned arson fires on December 29th, 2011, where two individuals were arrested.
A Joint Task Force was formed between the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, LA County Sheriff's, and members of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to investigate these fires and to apprehend the suspect or suspects responsible for these heinous acts.
The LAFD handled 16 fires by the morning of December 31st that met our criteria of concern. These fires predominantly involved vehicles, many in carports or in close proximity of a structure. Most of these fires were located in the North Hollywood area and the Fairfax District.
These were very dangerous fires that pose a serious concern to the community. Fortunately, no civilians were injured.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department initially reported one fire meeting the criteria in the Lennox area, however after a thorough investigation of the scene, it was determined that this fire was not related to these series of fires.
Los Angeles County Fire Department reported two incidents in the city of West Hollywood. One of the two incidents involved several vehicles in a carport and through joint firefighting efforts between the County and City firefighters was confined to the autos and the carport.
A combination of rewards in the sum of $60,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons responsible for these dangerous fires. Auto fires burn hot and fast and contain fuels, plastic, and combustible gases that can rapidly spread and flash over.
Precautionary measures can be taken by:
- Leaving on porch lights and the lights around your carports.
- Insure your vehicles are locked.
- Insure your smoke alarms work.
- Have a family emergency plan and discuss it with your family.
- Get to know your neighbors.
- Report any suspicious activity and finally...,
UPDATE: As of 5AM on 01/02/12, a total of 52 fires of concern have broke out in the Los Angeles area over the last four days from 12/30/11 to 01/02/12.