Investigators: Serial arsonist suspected in 30 southwest Houston fires


by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM

HOUSTON – Authorities believe a serial arsonist is behind 30 fires in southwest Houston, but they have no leads.

The latest happened overnight on South Gessner, and the previous one was just a few days earlier on Saturday.

Investigators said all of the fires have happened in the wee hours of the morning, and an accelerant has always been used.

Adam Badgley said he had no idea a serial arsonist was on the loose in his part of town, until the fire started near his home.

He and other residents of the Ripple Creek Townhomes woke up early Saturday morning to the smell of smoke.

They grabbed their prized possessions and hustled to help out.

"By that time, the firefighters were coming down the hallway and they were telling us to knock on doorways," resident Alaina Maldonado said.

Two people were injured in that fire.

On Monday morning, investigators said the suspect struck again at the Linda Square Apartments.

That time, a breezeway was set aflame, damaging two apartments.

Residents like Badgley can only hope the suspect is caught soon.

"I mean, obviously, there is some pattern going on here. It’s not just random coincidence in southwest Houston," he said.

The damage from the past two fires is estimated at $11,000, officials said.