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Laurel Canyon fire suspect arrested

May 26, 2009|Andrew Blankstein

A transient who told police he was Prometheus has been arrested in connection with a blaze that charred five acres along a steep and rugged hillside in the Mt. Olympus area, authorities said Monday.

It took more than 100 firefighters an hour to extinguish the blaze, which broke out about 7 p.m. Sunday on a hillside in the 2100 block of Laurel Canyon Road.

There were no injuries or property damage, but residents reported seeing a man running from the area near where the fire originated, said Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Karen Rayner.

On Monday morning, a resident saw a man matching the description and detained him. The 46-year-old man told authorities he was "Prometheus," a figure known in Greek mythology for stealing fire from Zeus.

"Officers were directed to the suspect, who was taken into custody," Rayner said. "They asked him his name and that's what he said."

Investigators are still trying to determine how the fire was set, but Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Devin Gales said arson is suspected.

The suspect, who later was identified as Darby Tennell, was booked on suspicion of felony arson at the LAPD's Hollywood station.

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andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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