Investigators: Serial arsonist wanted in 11 fires

Since December, same suspect(s) have started series of fires, says officials

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Arson investigators say they are searching for whoever set multiple dangerous fires throughout the Memorial area.

Since December, investigators said the same person or persons have started a series of fires along Memorial Drive at Dairy Ashford.

Investigators said they attribute at least 11 fires to the suspects. The fires have been set in vacant apartment buildings, dumpsters, and at the doorsteps of occupied apartments.

"Several of these apartment fires have been set in stairwells, which have blocked residents trying to escape," said Jay Evans of the Houston Fire Department.

Crystal Smith's apartment suffered extensive damage in December after someone started a fire outside her door.

"We lost everything," said Smith. "We lost our home."

Smith and her children lost all of their Christmas presents and other belongings, but she said the fire took something even greater: Their peace of mind.

"My kids are really nervous. They don't want to live here anymore," said Smith. "We're all having nightmares. I have a 15-year-old son. He doesn't even want to sleep in a room without me."

Fire investigators said they think the person or persons responsible are traveling by foot and likely live in the nearby area.

"I want them to be caught," said Smith. "I mean, this has, I don't want to say ruined my life, but it has taken a toll on my life."

If you know anything, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

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