HPD: Man, 84, sets house on fire

Willie Lewis Sr. charged with arson

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HOUSTON - An elderly man has been accused of setting a fire at his home.

Willie Lewis Sr., 84, has been charged with arson.

According to court documents, Lewis became agitated at his home in the 4500 block of Kashmere on New Year's Day. His caregiver took away the key to his motorized scooter after he tried to run over her, according to Houston police.

A short time later, Lewis poured gasoline inside a closet, lit a piece of paper with a match and then tossed the paper into the gasoline, police said.

The caregiver gave Lewis the key to the scooter back so he could get out of the house, according to court documents. The caregiver then tried to fight the flames with a fire extinguisher, but it was not enough.

According to court documents, Lewis tried to block the caregiver from getting out of the home, but she managed to get past him. She flagged down a motorist for help, went back to the doorway and moved Lewis from the area.

Detectives said Lewis admitted to setting the fire. Investigators said Lewis claimed his caregiver had been mistreating him by not bathing him, locking him up and not properly administering his medication. He said that anywhere was better than being inside the home, police said.

Officials said Lewis told them he didn't ask anyone for help because, he claimed, the caregiver took his cellphone away from him.

According to court documents, Lewis has a lengthy criminal record and a history of drug abuse. The caregiver told police that she had a mental health warrant issued for Lewis on Dec. 1, but it had not been served because of the holiday.

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