TMZ Producer Witnessed Possible Accomplice in Hollywood Arson Fires
1/3/2012 8:33 AM PST
A TMZ producer was in the parking garage where the prime arson suspect was captured on surveillance video Friday ... and just an hour before a car in the garage was ignited, the producer saw ANOTHER man casing the vehicle.
Three law enforcement agencies have contacted our producer multiple times since the incident, asking him numerous questions about what he observed.
The producer was going to the gym in the building at around 6 PM on Friday. As he tried to find a parking space ... he saw a gray, 1990s Monte Carlo blocking a car that was about to be torched. There were 2 people in the Monte Carlo -- a driver and another man who was tampering with the vehicle that would soon explode in flames. Our producer says both men appeared to be in their 20s. He could not ID the driver, but says the man tampering with the car had long-ish black hair, which was NOT in a ponytail.
The producer went to the gym, and an hour later ... as he drove past the targeted car, it exploded in flames.
Our producer called LAPD and told them what he saw. He then received numerous calls from detectives and fire chiefs. Authorities described the man who would become the prime suspect Harry Burkhart -- the man with the ponytail -- but our producer said that was NOT the man he saw tampering with the car.
LA City Fire Department Captain Jamie Moore tells TMZ ... the investigation is still active and they are not ruling out accomplices.