An arson suspect was in custody Thursday morning following a cluster of non-injury fires in Hollywood, including a blaze that began in a residential building's underground garage, authorities said.
Firefighters rushed to the building at 1434 N. Fuller Ave. in response to a report received at 1:12 a.m. of a car fire in the garage, said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Rick McClure. The fire spread to three other cars and to the first floor of the building before it was knocked down at 1:32 a.m., McClure said.
Rubbish fires were reported within a few minutes of the garage fire, he said, and arson unit investigators were dispatched to the scene. All the fires were within blocks of each other.
A rubbish fire at 1444 N. Poinsettia Place was reported at 1:12 a.m.—the same time as the car fire was reported—and another, at 1500 N. Poinsettia Place, at 1:21 a.m., said Fire Department spokeswoman Diana Igawa. A trash fire was reported at 7040 Sunset Blvd. at 1:27 a.m., she said.
Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Station arrested 22-year-old Sunland resident Samuel Arrington in the area of La Brea Avenue and Sunset Boulevard at about 1:30 a.m. after he allegedly set a fire in a garbage can outside a 7-Eleven and allegedly attempted to light a gas tank on a utility truck, police said. The man was booked on suspicion of attempted arson, said Los Angeles police Lt. Marc Reina.
"I saw him turn the trash can on fire," said Pedro Mejia. "After that, he walked over to my equipment and tried to set it on fire. ... I have two tanks, one of diesel and one of gas, 20 gallons each, and he tried to open one of them with the lighter on and that's when I run over there and chase him away."
Arrington's bail was set at $75,000.