Fire at Houston home for mentally disabled kills two residents, critically injures one

Monday, August 4th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOUSTON (AP) _ Fire raced through a home for the mentally disabled, killing two residents and critically injuring a third.

A patient at the facility who attempted to cut a fire hose with a comb and pull the hose out of the building during the blaze early Sunday was arrested and interviewed by arson investigators.

Firefighters arrived at the residence at about 2 a.m. to find one of the private facility's three buildings burning swiftly, said Houston Fire Department spokesman Jay Evans.

Several of the center's residents were sitting outside in wicker chairs, calmly watching the building burn, Evans said.

Two victims were found dead in small cubicle-like living quarters. A third person was found in a bathroom and is in critical condition with second-degree burns over 50 percent of his body, Evans said. Rescuers initially thought a fourth resident was missing, but that person was later found asleep in the yard.

Names of the victims were not immediately available.