Charges for Architect Homeowner in Firefighter Death

An architect who designed and oversaw construction of a luxury home in the Hollywood Hills where a veteran Los Angeles firefighter perished in a blaze a year ago was charged by the District Attorney’s Office today with one count of involuntary manslaughter. Gerhard Albert Becker, 48, was scheduled to appear for arraignment this afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court Department 30. Becker was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport when he flew to Los Angeles from Spain on Saturday. He has remained in custody since his arrest. Becker was charged in case No.

Hero Deputy Lalezary Appears on Ellen Show

The hero L.A. Reserve Deputy who caught the man suspected in a string of terrifying arson fires opened up on the Ellen DeGeneres show yesterday about his headline-making traffic stop. A beaming Shervin Lalezary told Ellen, “Honestly, I feel relieved. What the suspect was doing… he was terrorizing the community. During the course of the day, we talked to a lot of the citizens of West Hollywood who were really on edge.

Man Charged in String of Hollywood, WeHo Arsons

The man suspected of setting more than four dozen fires in Hollywood and West Hollywood over the New Year’s weekend was charged by the District Attorney’s Office today with multiple counts of arson. Harry Burkhart, 24 (dob 7-12-1987), is scheduled to appear for arraignment this afternoon in Superior Court Department 30, fifth floor, Foltz Criminal Justice Center, 210 W. Temple St., Los Angeles. “After reviewing the available evidence, we filed 28 counts of arson of property and nine counts of arson of an inhabited structure,” said District Attorney Steve Cooley. “The current charges relate to arson fires at 13 locations in Hollywood, West Hollywood and Sherman Oaks between Dec. 30 and Jan.

NoHo Arson Incidents Resemble Weho Garage Fire

The Los Angeles Fire Department’s Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section is investigating a series of intentionally set fires that occurred in the last week along the Lankershim Boulevard corridor between Burbank Boulevard and Saticoy Street in North Hollywood. Many of the fires have occurred around vehicles and carports, similar to a garage fire on Fountain Avenue in the West Hollywood area on July 19, just as the string fires in North Hollywood started to occur. Asked if the incidents could possibly be related, the LAFD told Weho Daily that “arson is a pervasive concern” and that “recent fires in North Hollywood — as well as the one you mention — remain under active investigation.” LAFD Investigators are urging residents to be alert, make note of suspicious activity and minimize the threat of arson by removing dry vegetation, trash and debris. Property owners are also encouraged to use outdoor lighting, lock vehicles and place rubbish within covered trash cans in well-secured areas to curtail the possibility of arson.

Fire Guts Garage on Fountain, Investigated for Arson

A large structure fire broke out on Tuesday night on Fountain Avenue and gutted a detached garage to a home. The incident started around 11PM with the fire quickly taking over the structure.  Units from the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles fire departments responded with West Hollywood based units of the Los Angeles County Fire Department to battle the blaze. It appeared that the fire was more difficult to put down than originally anticipated.  Residents to neighboring structures who were not immediately seen in need of evacuation were ordered out of their homes as the battle progressed. Additional manpower was requested at about midnight to assist the units on scene, and there was talk about moving to defensive operations to protect neighboring structures instead of focusing on trying to put out the blaze in the garage. Things began to come under control at about 12:15AM and a knockdown on the fire was called at about 12:30AM.

4 Pets Saved in Laurel Canyon Home Fire, Others Lost

A structure fire broke out at a residence on Laurel Canyon Blvd tonight and while there were no human victims, two dogs and three cats died as a result of the blaze. Four other pets rescued by the Los Angeles Fire Department did survive.  That count included two cats and two dogs. Initial reports indicated that the fire may have started around 10PM in a garage of the home, located on the 2700 block of Laurel Canyon Blvd.  A later report by the fire department said it was mostly confined to the kitchen area. The LAFD reported a knockdown of the fire at about 10:30PM.  32 firefighters took just 22 minutes to put out the blaze, which was confined within a single story home. Laurel Canyon Blvd was closed to traffic in both directions around the scene of the fire until about 11:20PM when a single lane was opened and traffic was allowed in alternate bursts for each direction.

Hollywood Synagogue Arsonist Charged with 19 Felonies

An alleged arsonist accused of setting a fire inside a classroom at a Hollywood synagogue and other structures was charged today with more than a dozen felonies. Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney of the Arson Section said Dmitriy Sheyko, 21, is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Sheyko was found to be in police custody on charges unrelated to the synagogue arson in the days following the incident.  Los Angeles Police and LAFD had previously released footage obtained from security cameras at the location to ask for help from the public in identifying the suspect. Sheyko is charged with 19 felony counts involving burglary, arson and use of a destructive device. Bail for the defendant is recommended at $3 million.

Police Investigate Burglary and Fire at Hollywood Synagogue

Los Angeles Police Department officers set up a crime scene today at a Hollywood Blvd. synagogue following a fire and report of a burglary at around 8:30AM. The occurred at Temple Israel of Hollywood in the 7300 block of Hollywood Blvd. Fox LA reported that the police and fire department were called to the scene early this morning and that there were signs of forced entry on one end of the building near some classrooms.

Readers report that the ATF and FBI were on the scene. The ATF investigates incidents such as this at religious facilities.

Video: Large Tree Blown Down, Causes Damage on Harper

A large tree was blown over this afternoon leading into rush hour, causing a bit of traffic trouble in West Hollywood along with property damage. The tree was blown over around 4PM as area winds were kicking up and gusting to over 10 to 15 miles per hour. It landed on at least one vehicle and also took out a street light pole with it. Traffic was closed on Fountain for some time as workers with chainsaws were dispatched to the scene to begin cutting it to pieces. “A HUGE tree snapped & landed in the middle of Fountain!

The Roxy Gets Extra Hot with Small Electrical Fire

Customers at The Roxy were rockin’ out as usual last night when smoke coming from the neon in front of the building provided a little more excitement than anyone was hoping for. Smoke was spotted coming from the marquee area of the club, located at 9009 West Sunset Blvd, at about 10:30pm. “Something smelled funny so I came downstairs, saw smoke and the fire department arrived,” said Lauren Rothman, who was in the On The Rox bar area. By 11:05pm, everything was under control and The Roxy sent a message via their Twitter account: “All is safe and we’re back open! Small electrical fire started by neon transformer box.