Officials believe serial arsonist hits again

HOUSTON The fire broke out on W. 11th near Ashland around 5:15am. When fire crews arrived, the two-story structure was fully engulfed. This now makes nine suspicious fires in this neighborhood and many neighbors want to know why no one has been able to put a stop to this.

The sight of smoke billowing from another neighbor's home has ignited a new spark of outrage in the Heights.

"I figure here we go again," said neighbor Catherine Stvraki.

Stvraki has watched houses on both sides of her home burn and worries what will happen if her own home goes up in flames.

"I'm frightened to sleep, to close my eyes because if I see something happen, how am I going to run? Which way am I going to go? What am I supposed to do?" she wondered.

Houston arson investigators believe that in the last six weeks someone has set nine fires, all within a block within each other. Today, it happened at a two-story home that neighbors say was vacant, but ready to rent and filled with furniture that was destroyed in the fire.

The circumstances immediately raised the suspicions of District Chief Wallace Page with the Houston Fire Department.

"It was close proximity to the other fires that we've had in the area and the look of the building, it didn't appear to be occupied," said District Chief Page.

Arson investigators say the fire appears to fit the pattern of their serial arsonist and with this latest blaze, they say they now have fresh leads to pursue. P> Stvraki hopes they catch someone before her worse fears come true.

"It's scary," she said.

A spokesperson with the Houston Fire Department says they have asked police to increase patrols in the area. Fire officials also plan to canvass the area tomorrow in hopes of getting new tips that could lead them to this arsonist.

So far, no one has been hurt. Authorities are offering a reward to anyone who has information that can help them make an arrest of the arsonist.

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