Update: Officials believe morning Longview fire intentionally set
From Staff Reports
April 9, 2012 at 3:26 a.m.
Longview fire officials believe a Monday morning fire that displaced several people was intentionally set.
Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary said he believes an ignitable liquid was used to start the fire on Lambert Lane in Longview, but officials do not have a suspect.
"We haven't gotten enough information to know what the intent was other than to cause damage to the structure," Zackary said. "Whether it was to harm people, I don't know yet."
Earlier that day, a man said he had stopped by to check on his relatives only to find smoke coming from one of the bedrooms.
Bobby Ray Lilly said he first stopped at the home at 5 a.m. to check on his uncles, who live in the residence. He found a small fire by the hot water heater.
Lilly said he put it out, they cleared the smoke and his two uncles went back to sleep. Lilly said he stopped by later that morning to see smoke coming from one of the bedrooms. That's when he said he entered the residence to wake his uncles and get them out of the building.
Zackary said he believes there were five people living in the residence. The home is not inhabitable.
No one was injured in the blaze, and the Red Cross has been called to assist the residents.
Zackary encourages anyone with credible information to anonymously call Gregg County Crime Stoppers at (903) 236-7867.