Officials are searching for a Tyler man who allegedly set his ex-wife's house on fire. Willie McGee, 43, is facing four charges of aggravated assault and the fire department is looking into issuing an arson warrant.
The incident happened in the 2,500 block of West Oakwood St. The woman and her three children made it out safely, but are shaken up. It was around 7:00 a.m. that Angela McGee and her ex-husband began arguing.
With permission from her mother, Kathy McGee, 15, told us what she saw happen. "He went outside and he came back. He started putting gasoline all in the kitchen, the living room, the carpet," said Kathy. Kathy says she, her mother, her 19-year-old sister and her 11-year-old brother tried to stop their father. But Willie McGee lit a paper bag on fire. Before leaving the house, Angela says he took her car. "He went and took my keys from the dresser and took off in the car, so purse and everything is in my car and he took off," said Angela.
Frantic, Angela tried to put the fire out. Three neighbors came to the rescue. But it was Angela's cousin, who happened to be driving by on his way to see his mother, who put the blaze out. "I jumped out the car. She was in there trying to put it out but she was choking so I just said, 'Hey, I got a hose. Just get out. I'll put it out'," said Simone Jones.
The family is pleading for your help, because they fear for their safety. "If anybody see him, just call 911. Please for me and my kids sake," said Angela.
Angela says she and Willie were married for 13 years but divorced nine years ago. She has tried to remain cordial but after this, she nor the kids want anything to do with him. "He might as well forget he's got kids. They can lock him up in jail and throw away the key for all I care," said Angela. "I feel like he shouldn't be putting us in this kind of situation. And he jeopardized his whole family," said Kathy.
The home received minimal damage. Angela says the carpet and couch were destroyed. No one was injured during the incident. Willie was last seen driving Angela's car, a 1997 gray Chevy Lumina. If you have any information, call Tyler Police.