Police: West Houston apartment fire was no accident

May 24, 2013 10:07:33 AM PDT
A man arrested for allegedly trying to burn his apartment down, with his family inside.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries and four apartments were damaged after, investigators say, a man threw a Molotov cocktail inside his own apartment. Darrius Owens, 26, has been charged with arson.

There's little left of the apartment where the Houston Fire Department says a family argument led to a two alarm fire overnight. Kimberly Jones lives nearby, and rushed over to see what was going on.

Jones said, "They should have just taken it somewhere else. They shouldn't have caused people to lose their homes."

The fire department says Owens argued with his family, and although he left the apartment, he later returned with a Molotov cocktail, which one witness told us he tossed into the apartment, causing the fire.

"I was in the house," said eyewitness Marilyn Alubotdu. "All I saw was the door open and the guy just threw a bottle with gasoline and fire in the house."

In the moments that followed, the firefighters arrived in force -- 130 of them, pulling two alarms. Still, the damage to at least four apartments was devastating. Neighbor Steve Ludwig says other residents were unwilling to let Owens get away.

"He saw the guy trying to climb the fence over there, trying to get away, and got thrown into the back of a cop car and everything else," Ludwig said.

But catching Owens could not un-do the damage, and the misfortune Jones realizes she is lucky to have escaped.

She said, "It could have happened to my apartment, my friend's apartment. He did a lot, he did more than just damage people's homes."

Owens remains jailed on the charge of arson.

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