SPRING, Texas - On streets normally bustling with shoppers, one corner on Midway Street in Old Town Spring, is completely out of business.
Sandy Wooten woke up to the bad news Wednesday morning - a fire raged through the back side of her Asian Antique Shop.
“Old Town Spring is a great area and we are not used to anything like this,” said Wooten.
The shop she has owned for the last few years, is next door to The Coin Shop, where investigators said the fire started.
“My reaction is get out of bed and put on some clothes and get here,” said Wooten.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer confirmed a burglary was reported from the 200 block of Midway Street.
Several hours later, the business owner reportedly went back to the location after an alarm sounded. Firefighters were called to the scene around 4:30 a.m. and worked to douse the flames.
Arson investigators believe it’s possible the crook returned to the shop and started the fire to try and cover his or her tracks.
The Coin Shop was completely destroyed and the flames spread to both businesses on each side.
Detectives told KHOU a flaming Molotov cocktail was found at the scene, and was likely used to start the fire.
“Sometimes I stay at my office till 11, 12 o’clock at night not realizing how late it is. I don’t feel unsafe at all in this community,” said Joli Ammons, a business owner down the street from the scene. “I see somebody’s dreams crushed and their livelihood destroyed. I mean it’s awful.”
This is not the first time an arsonist has targeted businesses in Old Town Spring. In July 2015, surveillance cameras caught a suspect pouring liquid all over the patio of the Cross Track Icehouse and lighting it on fire.
He has still not been caught and detectives said no tips have been called in.
Wednesday, several business owners tried to pick up the pieces of what’s left.
“I can’t even imagine just looking at it. Just knowing the blood, sweat and tears it took to just paint the office. Like you know how somebody could destroy it like that, is just insane,” said Ammons.
Detectives are working to recover the video from surveillance cameras inside The Coin Shop.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (713)222-TIPS.