Houston fire officials say a teen is in custody and accused of starting fires at three separate businesses, including one at the Northwest Mall.
Smoke was reported around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the mall located on Hempstead Road near 18th Street in northwest Houston. The Houston Fire Department said firefighters found a small fire in a clothing display area near the front of the Palais Royal store.
HFD says store video surveillance captured the suspect moving about the clothing at the time of the incident and leaving just as the smoke and fire progressed.
Houston firefighters evacuated the mall as a precaution. The fire was put out by 2 p.m.
Emma Koehler was at the mall Tuesday when it was evacuated.
"That is disturbing, yes, and I can't imagine what happened," Koehler said.
One person was taken to an area hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Firefighters set up fans within the store to help clear out the smoke.
HFD said Wednesday that one teenager was in custody and accused of starting the fire at the mall and fires at two other businesses, including a restaurant at 1817 Wirt Road and a nearby convenience store. An HFD captain says the juvenile confessed to all three fires.
Fire officials have not released the time of when the other fires were reported.
Authorities say the name and age of the suspect will not be released because the suspect is a minor.