Police arrest woman on arson charge following north Houston apartment fire

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Firefighters say several apartment units were damaged in a Tuesday afternoon two-alarm fire in north Houston

A woman is now charged with arson after several apartment units were damaged in a two-alarm fire yesterday in north Houston.

Amber Benjamin, 33, is accused of setting the blaze that started around 5:20pm at the Siena Courtyard Apartments in the 13500 block of Northborough Drive and West Rankin Road.

Benjamin's bond is set at $200,000.



The fire took about an hour and two-dozen firefighters to put it out.

Neighbors at the Sienna Courtyard Apartments began screaming and shouting, alerting each other the building was on fire.

"My husband was asleep and they knocked on the door. They told him it was a fire and went and he grabbed baby and ran out," said Earnestine Gamez.

Thankfully, her husband and one-year-old son Aaron made it out just before flames took over their apartment.

"I was at work, he called me and told me apartments were on fire, yes. And I said, 'Ours?' and said yes," she added.

She rushed home oly to find she had lost everything.

"We're going to need another place to stay," said Gamez.

Twenty families were displaced. The Red Cross is assisting those families.

Meanwhile arson investigators say they have a woman in police custody. Though findings are preliminary, sources tell Eyewitness News an angry girlfriend was trying to get back at her boyfriend, and may have started to burn his belongings.

Neighbors say there's been trouble at the woman's home before.

"I think they should have been gotten rid of her because everyone has been saying stuff about her and reporting her. They're always having problems as far as fights with them. They always fight and it stays loud over there," said resident Jasmine Brown.

Sources say that woman was checked out at the hospital and then taken to jail, where police plan to continue questioning her.

"I think it's sad that a lot of people came home and lost everything over something just so crazy," added Brown.
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