Resident speculate on reasoning behind arson fire - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/30/09

Resident speculate on reasoning behind arson fire

By Ben Lawson - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As the Lubbock Fire Marshal's Office continues to investigate an early morning arson at a Lubbock apartment complex, residents have their own ideas on who could have set the blaze.  

Flames broke out at the Boardwalk Apartments early Tuesday morning. Fire crews arrived on scene near 19th Street and Chicago Avenue around 3:30 a.m.  The crews doused the flames quickly, but five residents were displaced.  Now, investigators say someone intentionally set the blaze and have yet to charge anyone with the arson, but Boardwalk residents say anger could be behind the fire.

"I've never been so scared in my entire life," said Boardwalk Apartments resident Danielle Huebner.  The fire caused approximately $10,000 in damage, and five people forced to find a new place to live. Fire investigators say it's deliberate. "We have determined it to be an arson, the rest of it is under investigation at this time," said Garrett Nelson with the Lubbock Fire Marshal's Office. 

Flames ribbed through one apartment, causing a lot of damage.  Residents, just two doors down were the first to hear it, and they came outside to alert their neighbors.  "First, I heard glass break. I thought maybe one of our vehicles got broken into," Huebner said. 

When Huebner stepped outside, she realized the shattered glass had come from next door. "I saw a flicker and then I saw the flames inside, and as I was turning around you could see them start to shoot up out the broken window," Huebner said.  

She immediately called 911 as her boyfriend William ran door to door alerting other residents to the danger. "His hands are raw; he went door to door pounding on doors," Huebner said. 

Neighbor Lisa Brennon said, "he just pounded on everybody's door and told them the place is on fire, and we needed to get out."

"I knew the first thing would be to try to wake everybody up at three o'clock in the morning," Huebner's boyfriend William said. 

"If I wouldn't have actually gotten up to see if somebody had broken into vehicles, how long would it have been, another 10 minutes before we got out of the apartment," Huebner said.  Knowing someone intentionally set their home ablaze, those who live at the Boardwalk Apartments started to ask why. "I don't know, this whole complex has had problems."

Huebner and the rest of the complex lost power and water service in October when bills went unpaid. "There was a recent foreclosure, and everybody that worked here got fired," William said. 

"Some people speculate it was someone who used to work here did it, and there's just a bunch of talk going on last night," Brennon said. 

"I think if anyone did start the fire it was because of their anger," Huebner said.  Residents say that's no excuse for putting people's lives in danger. "Ask for forgiveness, for attempting to hurt a lot of people," Huebner said. 

Fire investigators did question a person of interest Tuesday evening, but they have not named anyone a suspect at this point.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

6/30/09
Apartment fire deemed arson
According to the Lubbock Fire Marshall's Office, arson is the cause of an overnight apartment fire. 

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