In 72 hours, Reseda had 14 suspicious fires. Officials say the blazes probably are linked

A truck is damaged and covered with debris.
A pickup truck parked in Reseda was set on fire Tuesday in one of 14 suspicious blazes since Saturday.
(KTLA-TV Channel 5)

Since Saturday, Los Angeles firefighters have put out a string of 14 small fires across Reseda, which officials are now calling suspicious blazes that probably are connected, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The fires have mostly ignited trash and debris, which firefighters quickly extinguished with limited damage, said Los Angeles Fire spokesperson Brian Humphrey. He said no one has been injured in the blazes and only minor property damage has been reported.

No suspect or suspects have been identified, Humphrey said. Officials have not determined the fires to be arson, which would require intent, but are calling the blazes “suspicious.”


The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services has painted over 181 lane-miles with a coating that reflects heat and reduces ambient temperature.

Sept. 8, 2023

“Our investigators worked tirelessly throughout the night,” Humphrey said. “They have been speaking with witnesses, gathering evidence.”

Firefighters responded to several of the 14 fires Monday evening and into early Tuesday, with almost all of them occurring in the “hours of darkness,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey did not release any suspect information or share a description of a possible suspect or suspects.

He said there could have been other fires in this San Fernando Valley neighborhood before or during this 72-hour period that are also connected to these 14 fires, explaining that investigators are “casting a wider net.”

One such fire, which is not currently a part of the 14 linked blazes, swallowed Brendan Yaffe’s backyard fence, a bamboo barricade and spread into a neighbor’s yard and nearby power lines during broad daylight — knocking out power and internet access for a few hours Sunday, Yaffe said.

A fire burns along Brendan Yaffe’s fence in Reseda, sparked Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023.


He wasn’t home when the blaze ignited at his Reseda home, but luckily his next-door neighbors spotted the smoke and called him.

“He’s just yelling, ‘Brendan, your house is on fire!’” Yaffe, 31, recalled. “I’m in tears, all I hear is my house is on fire.”

But when his neighbor rushed over to respond, he realized the home hadn’t yet caught fire, but the backyard blaze was spreading. With help from his brother-in-law and other neighbors, Julio Saavedra started hosing off the fire, trying to calm the flames.

“My neighbors jumped into action,” Yaffe said. They “literally saved my house.”

He and his pregnant wife haven’t been able to return because of extensive smoke damage to the house.

“A lot of smoke barreled into the house,” Yaffe said.

The cause of the fire at Yaffe’s house hasn’t been determined, and no one has been arrested, Humphrey said.

The initial call to the Fire Department described the fire as starting near a homeless encampment in the bed of the Los Angeles River, which backs up to Yaffe’s home. When firefighters responded to Yaffe’s yard, they spotted additional fires along the river, Humphrey said, though it wasn’t clear how those started or if they were related.


Yaffe suspects the fire that affected his property was intentionally set, and said he would like to see officials take these fires seriously and hold those responsible accountable.