Arson investigating fire at pallet company

HOUSTON - Firefighters put out a fire at an old pallet company early Monday morning in southeast Houston. Now, residents and business owners are worried after a recent string of fires in their community.

Officials said the fire broke out around 4:45 a.m. Monday in the 9400 block of Cullen at Willmington in southeast Houston.

The father living at the back of the property drove a truck through the fence to get his family safely away from the flames. This was one of several fires arson instigators are looking into in the same area in the past few weeks.

Jose Argueta said his father and seven more family members were sleeping when the wooden pallets along the road and in front of the store caught fire.

Jose's father was the first to see the flames.

"He woke up and came outside and saw the fire, said Argueta. "And then he went to go knock on the doors to wake us up."

The father piled the family in the truck and drove through a fence to escape the fire. Several of their other cars and equipment were damaged by the flames, but part of their home still stands.

Now arson investigators are looking into the fire's cause.

Houston fire officials said this southeast neighborhood is keeping the arson team busy.

A little more than a week earlier, HFD said three suspicious fires were set nearby in the Reed Road and Scott Street area.

HFD said Monday's fire at the pallet company has not been tied to other fires yet. But, families still worry what could happen next.

"My concern is they seem to be escalating and we need to find the guy before somebody actually gets hurt," said Argueta.

Electric crews worked to restore power to the property. The Argueta family hopes to stay if they can.

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