On Saturday December 19, 2020 between the hours of 3:27AM and 4:08AM, five distinct fires in close proximity, were reported to or discovered by the Los Angeles City Fire Department. The fires involved buildings on two separate church properties, a utility pole, a vehicle and rubbish.
The LAFD Arson and Counter Terrorism Section immediately initiated an investigation and, utilizing burn patterns and witness statements, deemed the cause of the fires to be suspicious.
Over the following days, arson investigators conducted a lengthy canvas for surveillance video and additional witnesses. Their efforts resulted in the identification of a possible suspect.
On Wednesday, December 30, 2020, while approaching the suspect’s residence, arson investigators and officers of the Los Angeles Police Department spotted the suspect on the sidewalk. The suspect was detained in front of his residence without incident. Follow up questioning by arson investigators led to the discovery of additional information which linked the suspect to two of the fires.
Consequently, the suspect identified as Hugo Torres, of Panorama City, was arrested for 451(c) PC Arson of a Structure.
On Monday, January 3, 2020 this case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for felony filing considerations.
Name: Torres, Hugo Cesar
Date of Incident: 12/19/2020
LAFD Incident #: 0185 & 0195
Time of Alarm: 0354 hours