Firefighters battle two Longview arsons

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- A busy overnight for firefighters in Longview, as they battled two fires, both ruled arson.

A suspect is arrested in one case, while investigators are still looking for a suspect in the other.

Fire crews were first called to the Princeton apartments on Canny Road around 4 Sunday morning, as flames began to shoot from upstairs apartments.

"The apartment upstairs pretty much fully involved in fire," says Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zachary.

Police say an argument led to the fire that put several residents in danger.

"Police were working on a domestic issue prior to this event the police were actually staged across the street, he was able to see that suspect leave the facility," Zachary says.

One person was injured trying to get the others out.

"It was scary I have a friend that lives behind us with a baby so I made sure they got out first, within like 15 seconds of calling the police the whole thing just shot up in flames," says neighbor Jessica Eudy.

Residents were alerted, by the man who was arrested for setting the fire, "He told me to call the cops because his house was on fire," Eudy says.

"This could have ended the lives of several occupants, we're fortunate that it had early detection," Zachary says.

Less than 30 minutes later and less than a mile away, another fire erupts in the back warehouse of Academy sports.

"Looks like we had holes made in the top the trailer where they attempted to get inside," says assistant Fire Marshal Jimmy Purcell.

Investigators say surveillance video shows a green sedan driving around the store shortly before the fire.

"Definitely could have done more damage if the doors to Academy were open, there was a cleaning crew that was in there at the time, didn't know anything about what was going on," says Purcell.

One man has been arrested and charged with arson in the Princeton fire.

Police are asking anyone to come forward who recognizes the green sedan.

One firefighter suffered minor burns to his hands in the apartment fire. The identity of suspect arrested in the Princeton club arson has not been released, pending his formal arraignment.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.