Search underway for possible serial arsonist after 14 suspicious fires within 72 hours in Reseda

LAFD says there were 14 rubbish fires within a 4-mile radius in a span of 72 hours.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023
14 suspicious fires erupt within 72 hours in Reseda
Police are searching for a possible serial arsonist in Reseda after over a dozen suspicious fires erupted in the area within a span of just three days.

RESEDA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Police are searching for a possible serial arsonist in Reseda following over a dozen suspicious fires in the area. At least six of them were reported overnight.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, there have been 14 rubbish fires within a 4-mile radius in the last 72 hours.

The fires reported overnight took place around the Reseda Boulevard and Vanowen Street intersection. The first of six was reported shortly after 11 p.m. Monday, and the rest happened within the following two hours.

Most of the fires involved trash bins and containers, but one of the fires overnight involved a truck that was parked in the neighborhood.

Firefighters were seen extinguishing the flames that engulfed piles of foliage and tree limbs in the truck bed. The vehicle sustained significant damage.

Gabriela Maximo, the truck owner's wife, told Eyewitness News this will take a huge toll on their family's livelihood. Her husband is the family's main source of income.

"My husband, he's working. He doesn't even know. Imagine what he's going to feel," she said. "...This is sad. Why? What did we do to them?"

Nobody was hurt in any of the fires, but other residents in the area expressed concern.

"It feels so unsafe, especially because we have kids in our house," said neighbor Marco Talavera. "Seeing all this activity... it's a little crazy. It's shocking for me."

Ana Estrada says her car was parked right behind the truck that burned.

"It could've gotten on fire... I never in my life thought that someone would do this," she said.

A suspect has not been identified, but investigators say the same person could be responsible for the other fires over the past few days.

The Los Angeles Fire Department on Tuesday provided a picture of a woman who they say is a person of interest in the fires. They say she's been seen riding a bicycle in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to call the department at (877) 527-3247.