HFD: Arsonist targeted northeast Houston warehouse

Warehouse was recently raided for illegal gaming

HOUSTON - Houston firefighters said an arsonist targeted a northeast Houston warehouse Wednesday.

When crews arrived at the building on East Mount Houston Road and Ashworth Street around 3 a.m., they saw flames shooting from the roof.

They said the fire likely started somewhere on the second floor. 

"The fire patterns show that someone set this fire," arson investigator Robert Koryciak said.

Investigators said the motive was likely destroying evidence since the warehouse was recently the target of a police raid. 

The Houston Police Vice Squad arrested several people operating an illegal game room.  They also confiscated several 8-liner machines.

After the raid was over, someone tried unsuccessfully to burn the warehouse Sunday, officials said.

Wednesday morning's fire destroyed most of the building and more illegal gambling machines. 

Arson investigators said whoever set the fire will face felony arson charges.  If officers find out a group of people set the fire, they could tack on conspiracy charges as well.

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