Woman arrested, charged after boy dies in fire

Rosalidia Chirinos Romero, 40, is charged with arson in the blaze that killed an 11-year-old boy

February 22, 2011 8:24:18 PM PST
Just days after this deadly fire killed an 11-year-old boy we've learned the fire may have been started by a woman who was angry with her sister.

The fire from this weekend left several families homeless in fact, the fire was so bad the city will demolish the building on Broadway and Belfort in southeast Houston.

A woman is in custody, charged with arson causing bodily injury. Investigators say she started the fire after arguing with her sister, but a boy ended up being the victim.

Tina Perez gets some help from her friends packing up to move out.

"I do not want to be right here in front of everything," she said.

And worse, it's a reminder of the little boy who died in the fire.

"He used to sit right there by the stairs and play with my son," Perez said.

As 11-year-old Jorge Galan's family mourns, so do the residents at the Pebble Walk Apartments.

It was early Saturday morning when a fire ripped through an entire apartment building. Galan's father told Eyewitness News he made his younger son jump from a second-story window, but Galan panicked and he didn't make it out.

It's been traumatic for those who knew the fifth grader, and on Tuesday came another blow.

Rosalidia Romero, 40, has been charged in connection to the fire and the boy's death. She lived in an apartment with her sister and her brother-in-law. Sources say she started the fire right outside their patio door because she was "fed up with their comments toward her."

"That's crazy; that lady was out here yesterday like nothing," Perez said.

Now, Romero is in jail. Eighteen families displaced by the fire have had to relocate and one without a child.

"Who got hurt in the incident? An innocent person and that's ridiculous," resident Wesley Williams said.

Sources tell Eyewitness News Romero admitted to starting the fire to scare her sister and brother-in-law. She did so by igniting a bag of clothes on fire.

As of late Tuesday night, Romero was still in the booking process, so her bond wasn't yet determined. If convicted on the charge, she could face five to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.