Man accused of intentionally setting home on fire with wife, 2 children inside

By Taisha Walker - Reporter, Cathy Hernandez - Reporter, Sandra Gonzalez

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A woman and two small children escaped a home after the structure was intentionally set on fire by her husband in northwest Harris County, according to authorities.

The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office identified the man as 31-year-old Jimmy Klayton Lauder.

Investigators said they determined the fire was intentionally set, and Lauder poured gasoline on the home in the 12100 block of Rockharbour Lane and set it on fire around 4:30 a.m.

Lauder is charged with arson and child endangerment.

Lauder didn't appear in probable cause court Monday because prosecutors said he was combative. They still read the charges against him.

"From the upstairs, the complainant (suspect's wife) heard loud noises and screaming coming from the kitchen. The complainant started to smell the odor of gasoline and heard the ignition module on the kitchen stove clicking," said the prosecutor.

"The defendant ignited the fire thinking the complainant and children were upstairs inside of the residence," said the prosecutor.

Authorities said Lauder came home intoxicated and started threatening his family, so his wife and kids went upstairs to get away from him.

Smoke alarms went off when Lauder tried to set the kitchen on fire, according to the Fire Marshal's Office. 

The fire was contained to the kitchen.

No one was injured.

"We are extremely grateful that no one was injured in this fire and that the female victim and her two children are safe," said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen.

The fire was quickly extinguished, the Fire Marshal's Office said.

Lauder was being held without bond.

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