Heights Arson Investigation Continues

It's still unclear if another Heights fire this week is related to the series of arson cases in the area. But considering at least eleven fires have been intentionally set so far — the Houston councilmember who represents the district says residents need to be more vigilant than ever. Laurie Johnson reports.

Monday night another fire broke out in a garage apartment in the Heights.

Houston Fire Department Arson investigators are assigned to the case, but have not yet confirmed if the fire is connected to the previous eleven cases.

Houston Councilmember Ed Gonzalez represents District H, which includes the Heights. He says although area residents are upset that the arsonist hasn't been caught, he's confident about the investigation.

"Community members might not be privy to all the details of what type of investigative tools the fire department is using, so sometimes they might be actively working on leads but we might not physically see them out there or that presence might not be visible in terms of a heavy patrol presence or more personnel. But it doesn't mean that the investigation isn't taking place."

Most of the fires were set in abandoned homes, sheds or garages. But a handful were in occupied houses.

"One of the proactive things the community can do is to work together to try to watch out for one another. Make sure they have each other's phone numbers, make sure if they're going to be away from their home for a while maybe their neighbor could be watching for any suspicious activity at that location because that is always a good thing, when the community can come together."

HFD's arson unit won't comment on the investigation while it's ongoing.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...