Tempers flare after 3-alarm apartment fire in SW Houston

HOUSTON -- Tempers flared as police handcuffed several people after a raging fire in southwest Houston on Tuesday afternoon.

Arson investigators said it may have started with a Molotov cocktail. The investigation caused a lot of chaos at the scene.

"Get my baby out of there!"

An emotional mother screamed for police to let her 15-year-old son go. He was detained by arson investigators, along with two other men, in a heated scene after an apartment caught fire.

"When the apartment caught on fire my son was across the street, helping another neighbor move in, and when he saw the fire, he ran to save my sister," said Shumetria Green.

Green said her son has asthma and was struggling to breathe in the police car. At times he grew angry, throwing himself against the doors, and shouting at officers.

The Greens are among seven families, 33 people, displaced by the fire. Their apartment is just next door.

"It was heated because we lost everything, we have nothing. I work two jobs to take care of my son and he has no reason to start a fire," said Green. "Then they have him in the back of the car for no reason."

By the end of night, investigators did let her son go, saying he was a suspect, but was cleared.

Two other men remained in custody, one accused of arson for starting the fire, the other accused of weapons charges. Police are still determining whether those cases are connected.

"I just want to know if my neighbors are OK," said Felicia Allen.

None of the residents was hurt, but one firefighter did have to get checked out for a leg injury.

There's no word yet on the motive for arson, but investigators believe it started with some kind of incendiary device. They also say the apartment that caught fire was vacant, and neighbors told KHOU11 the people who had been living there were recently evicted.

On Wednesday, HFD announced that Christian Andre Horton, 23, had been charged with first degree arson. He was arrested at the scene, and his bond was set at $30,000.


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