Third teen arrested in connection with at least one arson fire in west Houston

February 28, 2013 9:44:37 AM PST
A third teenager has been charged for his involvement in at least one arson fire in west Houston, an area that has fallen victim to a dozen such fires in the last two months.

Jermoine Mitchell Montgomery, 18, is charged with arson. Court documents state on January 6, investigators determined a fire at the Sheffield Square Apartments in the 14800 block of Perthshire was arson. Investigators say on two separate occasions a phone book was set on fire in the stairwell of one of the apartment buildings. A resident was able to extinguish the fire in one of the incidents.

According to court documents, on February 18 a friend of Montgomery asked him and the juvenile co-defendant if they were the ones who had started the fires in front of the apartment where she lives with her grandmother the majority of the week. She says the two stated yes they were. Investigators say she told the two to stop because her grandmother lives there and she says they told her they would calm down.

Court documents show another friend of the three suspects said they admitted to him they were the ones who started the fire at the Perthshire location. Investigators say in a cell phone recording of their conversation, Montgomery stated, "We was burning (stuff) in the hallway."

Eight days ago, authorities charged Xavier McKnight for the arson fire at the Perthshire location. McKnight, 19, and the 16-year-old male co-defendant were charged in another fire on Jan. 12 on Country Place.

Besides those apartment fires, investigators believe those two also set two fires on the Spring Branch ISD campus, including dumpsters at Thornwood Elementary.

Investigators believe McKnight and the juvenile could be responsible for more than a dozen fires set in the same area between last December and now. Both teens at some point went to Stratford High School, court documents state.

The juvenile was already on probation for aggravated robbery and investigators say he was a suspect in a string of fires in 2011, but he was never charged.

Montgomery has only been charged for the Perthshire fire. Authorities say the investigation is still active and more charges and more suspects are possible.

Since December 2012, HFD has responded to 12 intentionally set fires in the Memorial-Dairy Ashford area. Fortunately, no one has been hurt.

Anyone with information regarding these individuals and these fires are urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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