Silver Lake

Suspected Serial Arsonist on the Loose in Mt. Washington, Silver Lake Neighborhoods

Security video footage shows a man running away from the scene seconds before sparks began to fly.

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A suspected arsonist is on the loose after setting fires in Mount Washington, Silver Lake and Glassell Park communities, fire authorities said.

One of the suspicious fires broke out in front of a home in Mount Washington last Friday, and that terrifying moment was caught on camera.

“I freaked out. I started yelling, 'Fire,' said Walter Moguel, the homeowner who had to rush his parents out of the property while scrambling to put out the flames on his cypress trees in the front yard with his fire extinguisher. "My nephew grabbed my parents to get them out of the house

Moguel said six of the cypress trees were on fire.

"It was the scariest scene in the world because they almost felt they were 2 to 3 feet away from me," Moguel said.

The Mount Washington resident said the damage to his property was limited thanks to fire crews who were able to quickly arrive at the scene.

But after the blaze was put out, what rattled Moguel was footage from his neighbor’s surveillance video across the street from the burned trees.


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“You see a person walking across the street – just a shadow of a person,” said Moguel whose video clips also showed sparks flying from the trees moments after that suspicious person walked away.

Officials believe the arson suspect may be connected to other crimes. The LA Fire Department confirmed there have been several suspicious fires around the area.

“The fireman was close by [at the time of the fire] and said, ‘No, you have an arsonist in the neighborhood,’” Moguel said. “This had been happening around the neighborhood. I had no idea.”

Other residents were on edge by the recent activities and said they hoped the person is caught before more damage is done.

“That’s more than scary. That’s wrong,” Elena Kelly, a Mount Washington resident, said. “It’s kind of scary not only for the property but also for the lives. A lot of older people live here.”

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