Man says 2 men threw something in car to start fire on Katy Freeway

HOUSTON – A Katy man was discharged from Memorial Hermann Hospital Wednesday, two days after his car caught fire on the Katy Freeway.

Syed Raza has second- and third-degree burns on his right arm, and a first-degree burn on the right side of his face. He told KPRC2 he felt his arm burning and knew he needed to get to safety.

"All I could think is I need to get out of the car," Raza said.

"A lot of things (were) going through my mind."

SKY2 recorded the fire that engulfed Raza's car Monday afternoon, on the Katy Freeway eastbound at Eldridge. In the video, Raza could be seen lying on the shoulder. A group of people surrounded him, strangers who rushed to help.

"They put water on me. Someone called my wife," Raza said.

Raza added they called 911. He had his wallet on him, making it easier for those who helped to identify him. They waited with Raza until medics arrived and rushed him to Memorial Hermann.

Raza suspects the cause of his car fire was not mechanical. Rather, he believes two men are to blame, throwing an object into his car a couple minutes earlier on the Katy Freeway feeder at Greenhouse. He said the pair pulled up next to him in a purple truck.

"They were asking me to roll down the window. I did that. I thought they were asking for directions," Raza said.

Instead, Raza said two men began to laugh before throwing an object into his car. It landed on the floorboard near the back passenger's side seat.

That's where Raza said the fire began.

"It's pretty sad that somebody would do something like that. I don't know if it's a prank or intentionally," Raza said, adding that the truck sped off.

Raza told KPRC2 he plans to speak with the Harris County Sheriff's Office Thursday.

As of Wednesday, investigators had not been made aware of Raza's claim.

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About the Author:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.