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Arson suspected in 19 LA fires

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 1:07 PM EST, Fri December 30, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fire departments responded to 19 vehicle fires overnight
  • Investigators believe they were intentionally set
  • Police are looking for a suspect

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Fire and police officers in the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County were looking for suspects Friday in connection with 19 vehicle fires in the Hollywood area.

Six of those fires spread to nearby structures, fire officials said.

"This is an arsonist working," Los Angeles Deputy Fire Chief Mario Rueda said.

He did not disclose if there were any patterns to the fires, but he said that what they've seen make officials believe they were intentionally set.

Thirteen of the fires were in Los Angeles, and six in Los Angeles County, in West Hollywood.

Investigators were looking for surveillance camera footage or witnesses to the fires, Rueda said.

"These (fires) can certainly lead to death or serious injury of folks," Rueda said.

Police responded at 12:45 a.m. by issuing a citywide tactical alert.

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