HOUSTON (KTRK) --Eyewitness News obtained exclusive surveillance video showing the minutes after a woman allegedly set fire to her own condo, causing a two-alarm fire Tuesday morning.
Esma Rakic, 60, was charged with arson and aggravated assault. Investigators say she tried to light other parts of her building at the Woodforest Pines Condominiums on fire and then sprayed lighter fluid at some of her neighbors.
In the video, a woman can be seen carrying a lighter and lighter fluid around the exterior of the building at about 8am. A camera located by the pool shows the woman pointing the objects toward two men, one of whom was on the phone and calling 911.
"We were trying to reason with her, you know? Hey what's going on, what can we do to help? So we were not able to reason with her at all," Eric Coine explained. He is the man wearing a black shirt in the video. He and Chris Doss are seen backing away from the woman, who then disappears from the camera's view.
"Then she took off to the back side of the building when she came across the other two guys, she sprayed it on them and actually tried to light them," Coine said.
Doss and another man, Joshua Richardson, tackled Rakic and held her to the ground until police arrived.
"I'm happy she's still in jail and that she's not out here trying to do it again," Richardson said.
Coine's unit was heavily damaged by smoke and water from the fire. His cabinets and part of the drywall were being ripped out to prevent mold growth. Smoke also damaged Richardson's kids' clothes and he said his drywall needed to be removed as well.
Rakic remains in the Harris County Jail as of Friday evening.