Devil's Night fires flared across the city early today despite the efforts of an estimated 30,000 patrolling volunteers and hundreds of arrests under a curfew intended to stem the annual Halloween orgy of arson.
At least six families were left homeless by fires. Overworked firefighters took up to 20 minutes to respond to alarms. No injuries were reported.
Police and firefighters refused to release until Wednesday a count of blazes blamed on youths who take part in the city tradition of setting fires during the three nights culminating in Halloween. It was clear, however, that dozens of blazes were set in trash bins and abandoned buildings.
During the last two nights, at least 334 youths were arrested, police said. Four were held for investigation of arson and the rest for violating the 6 p.m.-to-dawn curfew imposed for the period.