Investigators tight-lipped about arson fires

May 23, 2011 2:58:18 PM PDT
There may be a serial arsonist on the loose in southwest Houston. Officials say they are trying to determine if the same person is responsible for nearly 30 fires over the past 17 months, including a fire at an apartment complex on Gessner early Monday morning. Arson investigators aren't saying much, if anything, publicly about what may be another fire bug at work in the city. Instead, they're putting the pieces together of a series of fires that started more than a year ago to see if there's a connection. In the past 48 hours though, there've been two which is a big concern.

The latest fire happened just after midnight at a southwest Houston apartment complex. A hallway that linked the parking lot with a building courtyard was burning. Sleeping families were awakened by alarms and knocks on their doors.

One resident at the apartment said, "My kids -- we took them out and went all the way to the parking lot and called the firefighters."

The fire was put out, but it had the signature of a fire this weekend at another apartment complex. Accelerant was thrown on an exterior wall and set afire. Now some 30 fires in the past 17 months are being examined to see if some could be the work of the same person.

The fires began last January. A lot of them have been concentrated in southwest Houston. In one a security image was released of what appeared to be a man at one fire scene. The image, though, resulted in no identification and the fires continue.

Cleanup and repairs are underway at the building burned Monday morning -- not so easy to replace is peace of mind.

A resident said, "A lot of people are getting scared."

Scared, and angry...

"We're already suffering and for somebody to set fire like that on purpose, it's outrageous," said another fire victim..

Load Comments