Man charged in Christmas Day apartment fire that displaced multiple families in SW Houston, HFD says

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Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Man charged, accused of Christmas Day apartment fire in SW Houston
Multiple families are left wondering where to go after their homes were damaged when a man allegedly set fire Christmas Day.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man has been arrested and charged with arson after investigators said he set a fire that quickly spread to multiple apartments in southwest Houston.

Armando Perez, 30, is now under arrest for the Christmas Day fire on Hillcroft Street near Neff Street that sent one person to the hospital.

Firefighters say they had a tough time responding, as the first fire hydrant they tried didn't work, and the fire was spreading quickly.

"The whole front side was filled with smoke," resident Khriz Desiderio said. "You can't even be there. Like my eyes were burning. I was just coughing a lot. It was crazy, didn't feel real."

In the midst of the blaze, crews said they also rescued a man, who was unable to walk on his own, from a burning home. The man was taken to a hospital with burns and smoke inhalation.

With heavy damage left behind, the Luis family still can't go inside their apartment, since their ceiling could cave in at any moment onto the one bed they all share.

"To be honest, I don't know how I cope sometimes. I don't let it get to me sometimes. But there are times when everything hits me at once. But, last night, all the weight came back to me. As the older brother, I gotta look good, I gotta look like it's not affecting me. I had to demonstrate. I gotta have character," one of the family members said.

SEE RELATED STORY: Beyoncé's childhood home in Houston's Third Ward burns in fire on Christmas Day

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