Lawton Police searching for suspect in arson

Monday, November 15th 2004, 5:44 pm
By: News On 6

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) -- Police are looking for a man suspected of starting a house fire that seriously burned an elderly, wheelchair-bound man.

Joe Yzaguirre, 73, suffered first- and second-degree burns in the fire Sunday morning, Assistant Fire Marshall Tim Taylor said.

Yzaguirre was recovering in Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

A witness told police she was at a window in her home when she saw a man on the front porch of Yzaguirre's home. She saw the suspect light an object and throw it through a window shortly before she saw smoke coming from the house.

"We've got a suspect and we've got witnesses," Taylor said. "That's 99 percent better than usual in arson cases. We're just actively investigating the case at this point."

Taylor said officer Don Pestun, who was the first officer on the scene, removed an air conditioning unit from a bedroom window and pulled the man from the residence.

"Apparently, he tried to get out through the front door, but the heat was too much for him," Taylor said. "Between the neighbors and the first officer on the scene, there's no question they saved his life."

Taylor said although they do not know the suspect's name, he is described as a black male, about 6 feet tall with a mustache. He was wearing a stocking hat, blue jeans and a black and white jacket.