Houston — A serial arsonist is on the loose in the Houston neighborhood of the Heights. Sadly, I am all too close to this story as the fires have been set near my house, and my husband has interacted with a man who could be a suspect in the fires. Six weeks ago while walking our dog, my husband stood in front of a house (near Love Park) as a white man on a bicycle rode by and asked my husband, “Does anybody live in that house?” My husband did not know, but it did appear to be empty. That same house was the latest arson victim as it was set on fire early this morning.
In attempting to contact Crime Stoppers, I was told they did not need my information because they already received tips that the alleged suspect was on a bicycle. Yes, but do they know that these arsonist acts were pre-meditated and what if my husband’s description was different than the ones they had already received? The day after my husband was asked about the vacant house by the alleged suspect, he saw that very same man near the local mall.
So I took my dog for a walk tonight to check out one of the houses that was set ablaze. It is a house that we walked by many times. The house has been destroyed inside and out, and the smell was overwhelming. Even though I had no attachment to the house, I was close to tears thinking about how close this is to my home and it could happen on my block. There was soot and debris everywhere.
Fortunately there were police officers at the scene so I told them about my Crime Stoppers incident; needless to say, they were not happy that the representative at Crime Stoppers did not even want to listen to what I had to say, but fortunately the police officers did.
There have been a total of 11 fires in the same area of the Heights recently – most likely all set by the same person. I walk my dog down many of the streets that were affected by the serial arsonist so I can’t help feel a sense of sadness that someone wants so badly to destroy our neighborhood – a neighborhood that has been trying to transition into something better. Who knows if the alleged suspect is a pyromaniac and just likes to burn things, or if there is a set agenda; I just hope we find the arsonist so I do not have to listen to the sound of sirens and helicopters in my neighborhood on a nightly basis.
There are a few good things about this story:
• All of the homes appear to be unoccupied.
• No one has been killed or seriously injured.
• The fire station is close by.
If you have any information regarding these fires, contact as many organizations as you can including the Arson Task Force, the Houston Police Department, the Fire Department, and even Crime Stoppers. You do not have to give your name when providing information to Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.