Rescuer cuffed after southeast Houston house fire

Firefighters: Fire caused by electrical problem

By Mary Cuervo , Courtney Gilmore - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A man who helped rescued a family from a southeast Houston house fire ended up in police custody, HPD said.

Just after 1 a.m., firefighters said they were called to a home on Walker and Edgewood Drive.

Fire crews said flames were shooting from the roof and there was heavy smoke, but it was mostly contained to the roof and attic.

The homeowner said he lost power Thursday night.  He thought it was a blown circuit at the breaker and decided to go to bed and deal with it the next morning.

Just before 1 a.m., the homeowner said his neighbors were banging on  his door and forced their way inside.  

He said they rescued him and his stepdaughter who were both sleeping.

Thomas Pena said, "Our neighbor called 911."

According to Pena," A couple of boys pulled me out of the house," he went on to say,"I saw fire coming out of my bathroom."

Firefighters said they were able to put the fire out quickly and determined it was an electrical in nature.

While firefighters were dealing with the fire, an HPD officer said he tried to talk to one of the rescuers who stayed on scene.

He asked the rescuer to cross the street with him so he could hear what he was saying better.

At that point, the officer said the man started yelling and acting aggressively.

Investigators said the officer ended up tackling the man to the ground and cuffing him. 

The officer said he believed the man was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  He was taken to the sobering center.

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