HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A 44-year-old man has been charged with arson after authorities said he set his home on fire after his wife filed for divorce in 2017.
According to court documents, Thomas Jacob Williams poured gasoline on the floor around the toilet in the second-floor bathroom and lit it on fire Sept. 8, 2017.
Williams is accused of starting the fire after his marriage fell apart and a day after he lost his job as a paramedic with the Cy-Fair Fire Department.
He lived at the house with his wife.
Here's the series of events that led up to the fire:
- June 3, 2017: A police report says Williams' wife struck him in the head with a flat iron and he slapped her back.
- Aug. 9, 2017: A police report says Williams' wife choked him and ripped his shirt at the fire station where he worked as a paramedic. This incident happened in front of their 8-year-old daughter.
- Aug. 23, 2017: A police report says Williams fired a shotgun at a process server at the home where the fire occurred.
- Aug. 24, 2017: Williams was booked on charges in connection with the shooting incident.
- Aug. 31, 2017: Williams bonded out of jail.
- Sept. 7, 2017: Williams was fired from the Cy-Fair Fire Department for job abandonment and on the same day was served a restraining order to vacate the home where he lived with his wife, to stay away from his wife and to appear for a hearing Sept. 26, 2017, regarding custody of their daughter.
When interviewed about the fire, Williams said he was the only person inside the house at the time the fire started. He was adamant that the cause of the fire was electrical and it started in an area where he was working on remodeling the house. He said he was sleeping before the fire started and woke up when firefighters entered the home.
A neighbor said he was on the phone with 911 when he saw Williams in the front yard of the home before the Fire Department arrived. The neighbor also said he didn't see anyone else near the house.
Authorities said Williams tried to stage the scene to make it look like an extension cord was the cause of the fire but the cord was ruled out as a possible cause of the fire.