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Suspect In NoHo Fires Charged With 21 Counts Of Arson

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VAN NUYS (CBS) — A former Marine accused of setting as many as 19 fires in North Hollywood has been charged with 21 counts of arson.

Kurt Kaye Billie, 34, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon in a Van Nuys courtroom.

Billie was arrested Tuesday near the scene of a motor home fire in North Hollywood. It was the latest in a series of early-morning vehicle fires that have been deliberately set in the same area since mid-July. Officials estimate total damages to be around $1 million.

Billie is being held on a $2 million bail. He could face life in prison if convicted.

As a Marine in 2001, Billie was sentenced to five years in prison for setting fires to restaurants and bars in Okinawa, Japan.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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