LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A string of possibly deliberately set vehicle and trash fires in and around the Echo Park area over the past week are being investigated by Los Angeles arson investigators.

The first of four suspected arson fires was reported on Feb. 19, between midnight and 4 a.m., in the 1300 block of North Portia Street, Los Angeles Fire Department Senior Arson Investigator David Liske said.

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Three city trash cans were found burning, damaging a nearby car, he said.

In a second fire later that morning, another trash can was set on fire at Sunset Boulevard and McDuff Street, Liske said.

A vehicle fire reported Tuesday at about 2 a.m. in the 1400 block of Portia Street, near Galveston Street, is also under investigation he said. Authorities suspect another attempted arson of another car the same day, when a pile of leaves was found on a car parked at Laveta Terrace and Sunset Boulevard, LAFD Battalion Chief Steve Ruda said.

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“It’s hard to say for sure” if the cases are linked, he said.

“Sometimes, arsonists begin small,” Ruda said. “Hopefully each fire doesn’t get bigger.”

A car fire reported at 1:43 a.m. Wednesday in the 1400 block of West Morton Avenue, near Academy Road, appears unrelated to the suspected arson blazes, Liske said. That car is believed to have been stolen.

Anyone with information about the suspected arson fires can contact the department’s Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section at (213) 893-9850.

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