Arson Suspected in 3 Fires in 1 Hour in Glendale Area

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Times Staff Writer

Arsonists set three fires within an hour in the Glendale area Sunday night, causing more than $135,000 damage, authorities said.

Firefighters responded to an alarm about 9:50 p.m. at the Pacific States Box & Basket Co. on South Los Angeles Street at Magnolia Avenue in Glendale, where fires were set in eight places, destroying $50,000 worth of cardboard boxes and plastic strawberry containers, John Orr, Glendale Fire Department investigator, said.

Shortly after the first alarm, a car parked at the nearby Amtrak station was forced open and set ablaze, Orr said.


While Glendale firefighters were putting out the car fire, the Los Angeles Fire Department was called to a blaze at a public storage facility across the railroad tracks.

The fire, which was extinguished in an hour by nine firefighting units, left a collapsed roof and an estimated loss of $85,000, including $35,000 in household items stored in the building, a Fire Department spokesman said.

“It was definitely arson,” Orr said. “It is probably all connected because it all happened close together.”

There has been a 50% increase in arson in Glendale in the last two months, Orr said, after a 12% decline earlier in 1984.

In an unrelated fire shortly after midnight, a South Pasadena Fire Department photographer was injured as flames swept a hilltop home in that city. Damage was estimated at $1 million, fire investigators said.

Chris Egebjirg, 33, was hospitalized with first- and second-degree burns after a porch ceiling collapsed on him while he was taking pictures, Fire Capt. Roger Houston said.


The blaze at the Hermosa Street home could be seen for nearly a mile and may have been started by an electrical short in the attic, Houston said. The family of four living at the home escaped without injury, he said.