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The Latest: Convicted arsonist held in string of LA fires

August 24, 2019

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the arson investigation led by Los Angeles firefighters (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

Los Angeles police have identified a homeless man they say set nearly a dozen fires in the San Fernando Valley, and they say he’s a convicted arsonist.

Sixty-one-year-old John Hasekian was arrested Friday. He’s being held with bail set at $51,000 and it’s unclear whether he has an attorney.

Firefighters were called out before dawn Friday to douse 11 fires that burned trash, scorched a dumpster and gutted a car in Studio City.

Authorities say Hasekian was arrested in March for setting a string of eight fires and was later convicted.

Records show he also has arrests over the past two years in Los Angeles and Orange counties for assault, theft and disturbing the peace by fighting.

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3:15 p.m.

Los Angeles authorities say they have arrested a convicted serial arsonist after nearly a dozen fires were set in the San Fernando Valley.

Firefighters doused 11 auto, trash and dumpster blazes in Studio City between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Friday.

No injuries were reported, and no buildings were damaged.

The fire department says its arson and counterterrorism section took the man into custody.

His name and details of his previous conviction weren’t immediately released.

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8:13 a.m.

Los Angeles firefighters are investigating a string of fires in the San Fernando Valley.

Fire Department spokesman Nicholas Prange says firefighters Friday morning are on the scenes of various auto and rubbish fires, including one that was reported as a structure blaze but turned out to be a burning dumpster.

The department’s arson unit is investigating.

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