Police: Arsonists torch Longview home, suspects still on loose - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Police: Arsonists torch Longview home, suspects still on loose


A small decision may have saved the lives of a Longview couple whose home was burned Friday morning in an act of arson.

Fire crews were called to a home on fire in the 100 block of Edgefield Avenue around 6 Friday morning.

Officials say it was intentionally set and that it could have been a lot worse for those inside.

"She heard something. Sounded like somebody was on the porch, moving the door," explained homeowner Sironaled Tatum, "Then she said she started smelling gas."

The couple decided to watch TV and sleep in the living room, and that's probably why they're alive today.

Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary says, "An ignitable liquid was  poured onto the residence."

Within seconds part of the house was in flames.

Tatum says he looked outside and saw two men running around the side of his with a gas can. So, he chased them.

Investigators don't know whether the suspects intentionally threw the accelerant on the area, which is adjacent to where the couple would have been sleeping.

As much as a gallon of accelerant could have been doused on the home.

Firefighters were able to get on scene and keep the fire from spreading to other parts of the home, but not before it had burned the couple's bedroom.

Victim Valerie Grubb says, "We lost our clothes, we lost part of our house, it's not much we had to start with in the first place."

The crime racked up damages between $5,000 to $10,000.

Zackary says, "We area little puzzled because we can't tie this to any motive we can see at this time. We don't think it's related to any other fires that we've had."

The Red Cross is assisting the couple with immediate needs like clothing.

Suspects in the case again are described as men in their teens, a black male around 6'3" tall, wearing all red clothing. And a Hispanic male wearing a white sweatshirt and red sweatpants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Longview Fire Marshal's office.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly