UPDATE: Arrest Made in 'Suspicious' Fire on Hermosa Beach Strand

June 13, 2019 - 12:09 pm
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HERMOSA BEACH  - A two-alarm fire damaged a three-story home under construction in Hermosa Beach and spread to four other nearby homes before it was extinguished. 

Hermosa Beach Police detained and later arrested a suspect who was found near the scene of the fire. He is Michael Christopher Kotva, age 27. He was charged with arson and booked at the Hermosa Beach Police Department jail. Los Angeles County Fire Department arson investigators will lead the investigation into the cause of the fire. 

"It's not unusual for someone to possibly stick around in an arson case," Inspector Brian Stevens of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told ABC7. "Right now, this is under investigation, it's not deemed an arson yet. But, the L.A. County Fire Department Arson Unit does have someone detained and they are going to be questioning him on the cause."

The fire was first reported about 2 a.m. near the intersection of Eighth Street and Hermosa Avenue, officials said.

Knockdown was declared about 3.a.m.

Video from the scene showed flames on nearby homes. Four homes were damaged and some residents were briefly evacuated, Stevens said.

No injuries were reported.