Authorities are investigating a series of 16 fires in five months in Sylmar. On Wednesday, fire and city officials issued a plea to the public to help them find the attacker or attackers. Whit Johnson reports from Sylmar for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on April 3, 2013.
A $25,000 reward was posted Wednesday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of an arsonist who has been terrorizing Sylmar for more than four months by lighting tall cypress trees ablaze, feet away from homes.
Flames erupted in 13-year-old Alex Corona’s front yard on March 17, the latest attack in the city.
“I was pretty scared,” Corona said. “I was scared for my family and all my friends.”
Corona said he and his family rushed out of their home and extinguished the flames with a hose.
About a block away from Corona’s home on Feb. 15, Dolores Cabral, her daughter and granddaughter were awakened by a neighbor yelling, “Fire!”
Ten evergreen cypress trees were destroyed and the electrical wiring above them was melted. Cabral captured the fire on her cellphone camera (pictured below).
"I’ve never been through something like this so horrible in my whole life," Cabral said.
LAFD and Los Angeles City Councilmembers on Wednesday issued a plea to the public to help them nab those responsible.
"If you see something, please say something to help us out,” LAFD Chief Deputy David Yamahata said.
One victim said an arrest in the case cannot come soon enough.
"They’re kind of fed up," Fidel Sanchez said. "Because again, we're sleeping in the middle of the night and you get hit and you won't know until you smell the smoke or see the fire."