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LA firefighters tackle a blaze at a carport in the Sherman Oaks area of LA on Monday. AP Photo/Dan Steinberg/PA Images
LA Fires

LA fires suspect also involved in German arson investigation

The 24-year-old man was arrested in LA on Monday in connection with over 50 fires in the city last weekend.

A GERMAN national arrested in Los Angeles early on Monday morning in connection with a spate of arson attacks in the city over New Year’s weekend is also under investigation in Germany.

A spokesperson for German prosecutors in Marburg told the Associated Press that Harry Burkhart, 24, filed an insurance claim on a property owned by his family on the day it burned down in mid-October 2011.

The AFP reports that German authorities uncovered signs of arson in the October fire.

She said that no warrant had been issued for his arrest and he has not yet been questioned about the fire, but that he is being investigated on suspicion of arson and fraud.

Police in LA arrested Burkhart, who has an address in Hollywood, LA, after over 50 fires caused more than $2 million in damage between Friday and Monday. Most of the fires were started in cars.

Two people sustained minor injuries in the fires, with one suffering smoke inhalation and the other – a firefighter – falling from a ladder while tackling a blaze.

Burkhart’s mother Dorothee Burkhart, 53, is currently fighting deportation from the US to Germany. She appeared in court in LA yesterday after being taken into custody last week on foot of a warrant issued in Germany, according to Reuters.

Court documents show that she has been charged in Germany with fraud including allegedly failing to pay for breast augmentation surgery.

Apparently unaware that her son had been arrested on suspicion of causing the LA fires, she suggested in court that he is mentally ill and questioned whether Nazis were connected with his disappearance.

Harry Burkhart is due in a Californian court later today in connection with the LA fires.

- Additional reporting by Bradley Klapper and Pete Yost of the Associated Press

Man arrested after LA fires cause over $2 million in damage >

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