Suspected Arsonist Arrested After Setting Numerous Fires

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Photo by Ross A. Benson

A series of malicious fires set across the city overnight resulted in the arrest of a 31-year-old man on suspicion of arson. Between 10:08 PM and 1:40 AM, the Burbank Police and Fire Departments raced to 11 separate incidents involving deliberately ignited dumpsters, bushes, and trash. These incidents occurred predominantly in the city’s southwest region. Fortunately, BPD and BFD acted promptly, preventing any fire from reaching nearby structures, and no injuries have been reported as a result of these fires.

Photo by Ross A. Benson

Surveillance footage obtained during the initial investigation played a crucial role in the arrest. The footage displayed clear images of the suspect and his vehicle.

The twelfth incident occurred early this morning behind the Starbucks at 347 North Pass Avenue. Responding officers discovered burning cardboard behind the establishment. The search led officers to nearby Vons at 301 North Pass Avenue, where they detained a man fitting the suspect’s description.

The alleged perpetrator has been identified as Tigran Gazdhyan, 31, from Reseda, CA. Gazdhyan is now facing multiple felony arson charges. Additionally, he’s been held on a probation violation hold. Presently, he’s being held without bail, with a court appearance scheduled for August 10, 2023. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is currently reviewing the case for formal charges.

Some of the fires set and the location:

  • 10:08 pm – Alameda and Pass behind Milt and Edie’s Dry Cleaners – trash container
  • 10:23 pm – Hollywood Way and the 134 Freeway
  • 10:38 pm – Hollywood Way and Heffron – bushes
  • 11:11 pm – 2700 block of Willow – cardboard boxes
  • 11:13 pm – Alameda and Naomi (behind Saint Joseph’s) – dumpster fire
  • 11:21 pm – Riverside Drive and Kenwood – dumpster fire
  • 11:31 pm – Riverside Drive and Screenland – dumpster fire
  • 11:38 pm – Kenwood between Heffron and Oak
  • 11:42 pm – Hotel Amarano on Pass Ave – dumpster fire
  • fires set in Toluca Lake, one location 4545 Talofa Ave
  • 1:41 am – Pass and Oak – cardboard boxes

Investigators are also exploring potential connections between Gazdhyan and other recent fires reported in the Toluca Lake area. These incidents share similarities in terms of modus operandi and timings.

Arson, the intentional act of starting fires with malicious intent, remains a severe threat to communities. Studies have shown that many arsonists are motivated by various reasons, including revenge, excitement, vandalism, or even financial gain. Recognizing patterns and understanding the psychology behind arson can aid in swift apprehensions and potentially prevent further incidents.

The BPD has encouraged anyone with further information regarding these incidents to reach out to Detective Cameron Mencuri at (818) 238-3210. The investigation remains active and ongoing.

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