Investigators Working Numerous Fire Scenes after Severe Weather Rolls through the Area
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TX -- Investigators with the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office spent the day digging through fire scenes across the county and then responded to yet another fire before noon where a house was intentionally set on fire off Hwy 242. 911 callers first reported a disturbance in the 16400 block of Twilight Star Court in the Lone Star Ranch Subdivision, then additional callers reported that a home had been set on fire. Responding officers from the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Sheriff’s Officer searched the area while Firefighters from the Caney Creek Fire Department battled the fire. Officers located the suspect a short distance from the scene and detained him. MCFMO Officers conducted the investigation and then arrested 34 year old Justin Bradley Pope on charges of 1st Degree Felony Arson and Terroristic Threat. Deputy Fire Marshals booked Mr. Pope, a former resident of the burned home, into the Montgomery County Jail this afternoon.
Investigation into all of the other fire scenes are ongoing, however several, including one of the largest, appear to be weather related. As storms rolled in last night, a reported lightning strike ignited a fire in the attic of a large 2 story home on Johnson Rd in west Montgomery County.
The Montgomery Fire Department responded and was soon joined by several other departments battling the fire during the middle of a violent thunderstorm. Winds intensified to an estimated 50 mph or more, turning the attic fire into an inferno. One firefighter received minor burns but is expected to fully recover. There were no other injuries reported as a result of this fire or any of the others.
Today, a team of investigators also returned to last week’s multiple alarm fire on Palmer Crest Drive in which two workers were injured. Investigators continued searching through the debris and were able to determine that this fire resulted from a build-up of flammable paint vapors on the first floor. While the workers were spray painting the interior, the flammable vapors built up and then were ignited, causing a flash fire which quickly engulfed the home. Investigators are still working to determine which of the ignition sources present in the home most likely sparked the fire. Both workers are still recovering from their burn injuries.