Suspicious fires erupt along Venice canals, suspects detained

Two young men were detained today in connection with a series of suspicious fires along the Venice canals.

Updated 9:33 a.m.

About 8:30 p.m. Thursday, a fire broke out at 18 S. Venice Blvd. Another fire was reported about an hour later at 23rd and Pacific avenues, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Two more fires broke out along Strongs Drive and Pacific Avenue just south of Venice Boulevard shortly before 1 a.m., and firefighters put out those blazes in about 10 minutes.

No one was injured in any of the overnight fires, but at least one car went up in flames under an apartment building, said Humphrey.

About 1:20 a.m., an arson suspect was detained for questioning at the paddleball courts on the Venice boardwalk. It was not immediately disclosed where the other young man was caught. Their ages were not disclosed.

They were taken to the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Station for questioning, Humphrey said.

There have been several other arson fires in the area recently, including one in the 1700 block of South Main Street about 1:15 a.m. May 19. A task force of undercover investigators had been assigned there overnight, including six from the Los Angeles Fire Department and one from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Humphrey said.

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