HOUSTON – A student from the University of Houston has been arrested for arson after intentionally starting a fire, prompting evacuations from university lofts Monday night, Captain Bret Collier with the UH Police Department said.
A spokesperson from the university told KPRC 2′s Brittany Jeffers there was a fire reported at the University Lofts. According to Collier, the fire was quickly extinguished by the building’s fire suppression system. As a result of the incident, the lofts can’t be occupied by students at this time, authorities said.
Collier said the student, who has been identified as Kevin Bompika Ekofo, 26, also attempted to set a fire outside a campus convenience store at the Cougar Village I building, where he was observed and arrested nearby.
The Houston Fire Department Arson Bureau was contacted and reportedly handled the scene investigation. UHPD contacted the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which accepted the arson charges. Ekofo was booked in Harris County Jail, Collier said.
According to court documents, Ekofo said he started the fire that ultimately caused damage to four floors of the dorm “because he wanted to and because he could.”
Officials said there were no injuries or major impacts reported. Residents impacted reportedly have been provided alternative housing accommodation and can request to be escorted to their rooms in order to get essential items, such as medicine, identification, etc. Residents that need to re-enter the University Lofts must notify staff.
His bond amount has not yet been set.