Authorities: Serial arsonist on the loose in west Houston
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Authorities want you to know about a series of arson fires because they need your help catching whoever is setting them. In the last two months, 10 different fires have been set around Memorial Drive between Eldridge Parkway and Kirkwood.
Any fire is dangerous but arson investigators believe these are especially so. They are being set in areas with a lot of foot traffic, including apartment complexes, and several have been in stairwells, blocking escape routes for residents.
Nick Blair and his son, Josh, lived in an apartment complex in the area until early last month.
"All I heard was glass break and I opened the front door, the flames were already 5 feet tall. There's nothing you can do at that point," Josh Blair said.
Someone had started a fire just outside their door, forcing them to move.
"That was a huge fire," added Nick Blair.
And now, there has been another outside a neighbor's apartment and the Blairs just can't feel comfortable.
"And that was horrifying because what, are they going to come back and do it again?" Nick Blair said.
Since last December, 10 fires have been intentionally set, all within two miles of each other. An 11th was set last May. The person or persons responsible have targeted apartment complexes, school dumpsters, park bathrooms and even the sports associations ball fields behind Spring Forest Middle School.
"Whether it be an adult or child, somebody needs to get to the bottom of it," concerned resident Natalie Miller said.
Crime Stoppers is highlighting the series of fires hoping for solid leads
"One name is worth up to $5,000. If anyone will help us identify this person, they will eligible for that cash reward. Also, they may save lives, the most important thing," said Katherine Cabaniss with Crime Stoppers of Houston.
Meanwhile, the Blairs hope an arrest comes soon.
"They're obviously wanting to hurt somebody. You don't just do that for fun," Blair said.
Investigators believe whoever is responsible lives in the immediate area and traveling on foot.
Luckily, no one has been hurt so far.
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.
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