PORT ARTHUR- By: Kalie Desimone/ KFDM News
The Port Arthur Fire Department is trying to determine if there's a link between gangs and the latest arson case in the city. Since May arsonsists have burned nearly a dozen vacant homes and one vacant apartment building in Port Arthur. Six News Reporter Kalie Desimone explains this time investigators have a little more to go on than in the previous cases.
Another arson in the city of Port Arthur. "We don't think this is related to the other fires" says Troy Irvine. Troy Irvine is an arson investigator for the Port Arthur Fire Department. He says evidence from Sunday night's fire doesn't match the nearly one dozen other arson cases since May. "We do have a confidential hotline set up right now if anybody sees anything no matter what they see or what they see or what time of the day feel free to call" says Troy Irvine.
Irvine says that hotline was important Sunday night when a neighbor called to report the fire in the 39 hundred block of 11th Avenue near 3rd Street. "There was an individual seen leaving the scene so we are going to follow up on that" says Irvine.
Armando Frias and his sisters have lived on 11th Avenue less than two months already they've had to follow new rules laid down by their mother. "We don't come out that much outside because we don't know what's happening in this neighborhood" says Armando Frias. The latest neighborhood victimized by an arsonist.
Investigators say the fire was set in the middle of the house a house with gang symbols painted all over it. "Anytime we run into a house fire that has graffiti on it, we work with street crimes and have those guys come out and give us an assessment to figure out who the markings belong to and see who's in the neighborhood" says Irvine.
It's not clear if a gang is behind sunday's fire but Irvine says he knows this. "The city does have a demolition plan in place but of course it's budget constraining. So until we can get some of these eyesores out of the way, it's going to be an uphill battle for us" says Irvine.
And a challenge for these children, who want to play outside. "Recently we feel unsafe" says Frias. Unsafe. Kids who can't be just kids in this Port Arthur neighborhood. If you have information about any of the arson cases, call the Port Arthur arson hotline at 983-8715.
PORT ARTHUR - by Scott Lawrence - The Port Arthur Fire Department is trying to determine if there's a link between gangs and the latest arson case in the city, according to information PAFD spokesman Troy Irvine provided to KFDM News. KFDM reporter Kalie Desimone is covering the story. Watch News at Noon, Live at 5, and KFDM News at 6 & 10 for the latest on the story. You can also find update on kfdm.com. The deliberately set fire damaged a home at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday on 3rd Street near 11th Avenue. A caller to 911 reported seeing someone leave an abandoned home across the street. Minutes later, smoke billowed out of the home. Firefighters put out the flames within an hour. The homeowner provided Port Arthur Police with a description of the arsonist's clothing. Investigators say the fire was intentionally set in the middle of the house. They found gang graffiti on the home. The Port Arthur P.D. Street Crimes Unit is working to identify the markings and determine if gangs are responsible for the arson. Investigators are also trying to determine if the fire is linked to any of the arson cases in Port Arthur that destroyed nearly a dozen vacant homes and one vacant apartment complex between the end of May and the middle of June.