ATASCOCITA, Texas – Some people expressed outrage Monday because they were not able to access their belongings during an arson investigation at a northeast Harris County storage unit.
A 19-year-old man was arrested Sunday in connection with the three-alarm fire that cost potentially millions of dollars in damage.
Benjamin La Chapelle is in custody and is being processed by the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office. Fire officials said he confessed and stated he set the fire for gratification.
Firefighters responded to the building fire at 2:25 a.m. in the 20500 block of West Lake Houston Parkway and found the Metro Mini Storage engulfed in flames, fire officials said. After firefighters arrived at the scene, they immediately pulled a second alarm.
The building served as a large storage facility for cars, boats and RVs along with furniture and other items.
There was no word on when renters will be allowed inside to sort through their belongings.
“My whole life is in there. Everything I worked so hard for is in there. I loved back home to take care of my dad who has cancer. I put everything in storage thinking everything was going to be fine,” said Tracy Farrell.
Some of the things lost, simply can’t be replaced, one man said.
“We had pictures, oval frame pictures that had family members that went down on the Titanic,” said Bill Debes.