Arson blamed for Pearland house fire

August 20, 2010 4:17:23 PM PDT
Investigators say at least one boy used gasoline while trying to set a Pearland house on fire. Now it's turned into an arson investigation. Authorities say the fire could have done some real damage. But so far, there are no arrests in the case.

It all happened off Hughes Ranch near Stone in Pearland on Friday afternoon.

Neither police nor fire investigators are saying much about the suspects or exactly what they did out here.

Authorities are talking to two juveniles, now just days before the end of summer vacation, who they believe set a vacant home on fire.

When officers arrived at the house on Friday morning, they found smoke and flames at the back of the home. Fire crews quickly knocked down the blaze, and investigators wasted no time in calling it arson.

"There was scorching around the exterior window of the residence, in a place that there really is no reason for it to be," said Lt. Onesimo Lopez of the Pearland Police Department.

In short order, they located two juvenile suspects, at least one of whom lives nearby. They interviewed both and handcuffed at least one. However, within minutes, they uncuffed the teenager and let him go.

Police say at least one of the juveniles poured gasoline on the house and lit it on fire.

A man Eyewitness News spoke with identified himself as the father of the other boy involved. Johnny Mendoza says his son is nine years old. He says his son knows now that what happened was wrong and that he will be punished. Mendoza says he is compelled to pay for the damage.

"I got to. That's uncalled for," said Mendoza.

Thankfully, the home is vacant, and no one was hurt. Mendoza says that is the only silver lining here.

"Thank god. Those kids could have been in a world of trouble," Mendoza said.

They still may be in serious trouble as police say arson investigators are still investigating, and they may make arrests at a later date.


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