Boy torches his grandma's home

January 15, 2009 8:36:32 PM PST
Six decades' worth of belongings went up in flames after a home was set ablaze on Thursday.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Theresa Howley and her sisters are trying to salvage whatever possible from their burned-out grandmother's house at Fairland and Sparrow in south Houston. The home is almost a total loss after a five-year-old grandson was experimenting with fire.

"My nephew was playing with a lighter and the fire touched his hand so he threw the lighter. Once he threw the lighter, it caught fire to the bed," said Howley.

As they checked out the charred living room, they said it's where the five-year-old ran up to his grandmother screaming about the flames.

"He ran into the living room but they thought he was joking because he never said what was wrong. He just said, 'Come to the bedroom.' He always plays so they didn't take it seriously," said Howley.

As the boy pleaded and the smoke filled the air, the grandmother shifted her attention to the back room of the green house that she had called home for nearly 60 years.

"Once they made it to the bedroom, it was too late. The fire had already knocked off the back window," said Howly.

She said her nephew is distraught over what he did to grandma's house.

"He's very apologetic. He's sorry. He's been crying," said Howly.

The family also said that the five-year-old was interviewed by arson investigators and will likely have to go to a class and a counseling session sponsored by the Houston Fire Department.

The grandmother of the boy involved in the fire did go to a hospital, but eyewitnesses say it was for an anxiety attack.

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