An arson suspect was arrested in Hollywood after allegedly setting three fires that caused significant property damage early Thursday morning.
Authorities say Samuel Arrington, 22, of Sunland torched a vehicle and set trash ablaze along a five-block stretch of Sunset Boulevard.
It is estimated the fires caused more than $100,000 in damage, said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Jaime Moore.
The first blaze, in a dumpster at Poinsettia Place and Sunset Boulevard, broke out at 1:12 a.m.
Around the same time, firefighters received a call about a car ablaze in the carport of an apartment building at 1434 N. Fuller Ave. Firefighters rescued the 20 occupants of the 10-unit complex. A 73-year-old male was taken to a hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
Four vehicles were destroyed in the front of the building. As the flames rose from the carport to the building itself, at least two units were damaged.
The suspect then allegedly set a trash can on fire at Sycamore Avenue and Sunset Boulevard before a witness apprehended him.
The witness, Pedro Mejia, was cleaning the sidewalk with a pressure washer. “I saw him turn the trash can on fire,” Mejia told KTLA News. “After that, he walked toward my equipment and tried to set it on fire.” He said the suspect attempted to ignite his washer’s two fuel tanks, containing 30 gallons of diesel.
Mejia detained Arrington and flagged down passing police.
The Fire Department’s arson unit is investigating the incidents. No motive has been determined, but Arrington may have been under the influence of a controlled substance, Moore said.
“He could have done a lot more damage,” he said.