An unidentified “person of interest” is in police custody, suspected of starting the many fires in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, or at least having knowledge of them. Some fifty-five fires have been started in autos under carports or other structures. At about 42-secs into the video you see a suspect entering a structure, with his back to the camera. At 52-secs-in you see him coming back from wherever he went, facing the camera, and at 56-secs-in you see a white arrow pointing to him. There is no confirmation that the man in the video is the man detained. There is also no confirmation that the description of the “person of interest,” white male, 20-30 years old with receding hairline and a ponytail, meets the description of the detainee. To be clear, the person detained, and the person in the video and photo below, may not be one-and-the-same. The detainee was picked-up on Sunset Blvd.
UPDATE 1-4-12: The suspect’s name is Harry Burkhart. He is 24 years old, not 55 years old, as first reported. His mother’s name is Dorothee Burkhart. Read the odd details here.
On Sunday authorities initially said at least 39 fires, mostly featuring cars set ablaze beneath apartment carports, had been set in Hollywood, West Hollywood and parts of the San Fernando Valley (mostly North Hollywood) since Friday.
According to an LAFD statement:
At 12:23 AM, on the morning of Friday, December 30th, a series of incendiary fires began in Hollywood. By daybreak, a total of 12 fires had been confirmed in the Hollywood area, and four fires in the city of West Hollywood. These 16 intentionally set fires were located in carports under apartment buildings or near single family dwellings in Hollywood.A suspect, 22-year-old Samuel Arrington, was in custody after a series of fires broke out Thursday morning, and police told City News Service they believe the man was behind at least two in the series of blazes so far. About four fires raged in the Hollywood area that morning by our count, and sure enough, up until early Sunday night, authorities put the total number of arson blazes at 43.
But since Arrington’s been in jail, the blazes have raged on, with reports of more fires cropping up in the early morning hours in the San Fernando Valley early this morning.
Samuel Arrington, mentioned above, is not the latest “person of interest” detained.
Person of Interest Detained in LA Fires (video)