Woman charged after setting Cypress home on fire with family inside, officials say


CYPRESS, Texas – A woman was charged after she admitted to setting a Cypress home on fire Friday while a father and his children were inside, fire officials said.

Lisa Merka, 46, has been charged with arson.

The fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. at a home on Spinney Lane. Firefighters said everyone in the house was asleep when the man's 18-year-old son smelled smoke and got his family out of the house.

The father, in his 50s, the 18-year-old, and two other children, ages 15 and 19, made it out of the house safely.

Officials said Merka admitted to using a cigarette lighter to ignite notebooks on a bench on the front porch of the home.

Merka was arrested and being held in the Harris County Jail.

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