HFD: Man sets fire to apartment during fight with woman
HOUSTON -- Arson investigators are looking for a man they believe is the reason that several families' homes in southeast Houston are damaged or destroyed just before Thanksgiving.
Four units at the Common on Edgebrook Apartments on Arlington Square are now off limits because authorities say they're too damaged and dangerous to enter. Fire investigators released late Wednesday a picture of Jonathan Roda, the man they say is responsible for the blaze.
With most of their belongings covered in ash and now sitting in a pile, the Cabrera family waits outside their new apartment for the things they could salvage to dry out. The day before they were to host Thanksgiving dinner, they were displaced by an early morning fire that was set on purpose. It's set them back.
"My dad worked so hard to get everything and now it's gone because of one person," 16-year-old Alex Cabrera said.
Cabrera lived with his parents, brother and sisters right below the unit where the fire started. Arson investigators now say Jonathan Rodas is to blame. He was fighting with his girlfriend, set the fire and then ran off.
Four units in all were damaged.
"Gives you something to think about who you're living next to," neighbor Enrique Martinez said.
Rodas isn't welcomed here anymore.
"That's crazy. Get 'em and lock 'em up," neighbor Crystal Saeed said.
Cabrera has little sympathy for his fugitive neighbor--a man who has changed a lot more than just their Thanksgiving Day plans.
"A lot of things that we had for a long time are gone now. What else can you do?" Cabrera said.
The Cabreras say they will go to a relative's home for Thanksgiving now, but that's not really their priority.
No one was injured during the fire.
Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of the suspect(s) in this case. Tips can also be sent by text message. Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.
local, jessica willey
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