By Edwin Folven, 12/29/2011
A 22-year-old Sunland resident was arrested for arson after allegedly starting three fires in Hollywood early Thursday morning, including one blaze that heavily damaged an apartment building near Fuller Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.
The suspect, Samuel Arrington, was arrested outside a convenience store near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and La Brea Avenue shortly after the fires were reported, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Brian Humphrey, who added that Arrington had been identified by a witness to one of the blazes.
Around 1:12 a.m., Arrington allegedly started a fire in a dumpster near Poinsettia Place and Sunset Boulevard. As firefighters were responding to the location, they received reports of a second fire in a dumpster in the 1500 block of Poinsettia Place, and at 1:21 a.m., a third blaze was reported in the carport of a 10-unit apartment building at 1434 N. Fuller Ave., just south of Sunset Boulevard.
Humphrey said approximately 50 firefighters fought the three blazes simultaneously, and the dumpster fires were extinguished in a couple of minutes. The blaze at the apartment building was much larger, Humphrey added, and was extinguished in 20 to 30 minutes. Approximately 20 residents evacuated the building as firefighters arrived, and the only injury reported was to a 73-year-old male victim who was treated for smoke inhalation and released.
The apartment fire significantly damaged the two front units in the building and destroyed four vehicles parked in the subterranean carport. No official figure has been released, but the damage is estimated to be around $100,000.
Humphrey said no motive has been established, and arson investigators are in the process of questioning Arrington. No information about how the fires were started was released.
Fuller Avenue resident Seamus Sullivan, who lives next door to the apartment building where the fire occurred, said he heard a loud popping sound around 1:30 a.m. and later realized it was the tires bursting on the vehicles in the carport.
“We were getting ready to call it a night and heard what sounded like a shotgun going off,” Sullivan said. “We went outside and realized the building next door was on fire, and we just rounded everybody up and got out.”
Sullivan added that he didn’t learn until later that the fire was arson.
“I thought it was just an electrical fire or something,” Sullivan said. “It’s pretty disturbing to know someone was going around lighting fires.”
Tags | Hollywood arson fires