HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An 18-year-old accused of sparking an apartment fire that displaced dozens of residents appeared in court for the first time overnight.
Jose Espinoza-Villanueva is charged with arson. His bond was set at $75,000.
PREVIOUS STORY: Man mad at family sparked NW Houston fire that tore through 16 apartments, document states
According to prosecutors, the fire began when Espinoza-Villanueva used a cigarette lighter to set clothes on fire in his mother's closet because he was upset with his family.
"You are technically eligible for pre-trial release bond, however, I believe the nature of the offense requires a high bond to ensure the safety of the community," the hearing officer said in court. "Given that it's alleged in this case that you set fire to clothes inside of a closet, which put others at risk of serious harm, including family members, neighbors and firefighters."
The two-alarm fire at the Flint at 290 apartments, located at 5915 Flintlock, displaced 16 families in northwest Houston. Some people lost everything.
"There are 16 units. Sixteen other families who have been affected," Richard Smith, whose sister lives at the complex, told ABC13. "People lost everything, not just a night of not being at home, but they lost their whole life."
The apartment complex is helping the displaced residents find new homes. Officials could not say whether the suspect's family was among that group.
ORIGINAL REPORT: 16 families displaced when large fire rips through NW Houston apartment complex, HFD says
SkyEye flew over the apartments on Tuesday as firefighters made efforts to extinguish the flames. The roof was engulfed with fire.
Houston Fire Department officials said no civilians were injured, but according to charging documents, two firefighters needed medical attention. One was dehydrated and needed oxygen. The other also needed oxygen and was dizzy after being hit on the head when a ceiling collapsed on him.