Man charged with arson, accused of setting Fort Worth home on fire with family inside

A man suspected of setting a family’s house on fire while they were inside has been arrested, according to the Fort Worth Fire Department.

The family was able to safely escape the fire on Sunday morning, though two adults have been displaced from their home.

Christopher Derrick Davis, 28, became a person of interest in the fire and was located Thursday morning at a residence in Forest Hill, the fire department said in a press release Friday morning.

He was arrested and booked into Tarrant County Jail on a $75,000 bond, the department said.

“Fire used as a weapon, threat or intimidation will not be tolerated in Fort Worth,” Fire Chief James Davis said in the release. “We will aggressively investigate and assist with prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”

Firefighters responded around 7:20 a.m. Sunday to the 5800 block of Whittlesey Road for a report of a residential structure fire. The family was able to escape unharmed, the department said.

Arson investigators with the department determined the cause of the fire appeared to be incendiary and met the elements of arson.

They developed Christopher Davis as a person of interest and obtained search warrants for addresses in Fort Worth and Forest Hill, the department said. About 9:30 a.m. Thursday, investigators with the department along with Fort Worth police officers and U.S. marshals served the warrants simultaneously.

Davis was found at the Forest Hill residence and arrested.

He was being held in the Tarrant County Correction Center on Friday, according to online Tarrant County jail records.

A surveillance video taken from a nearby home that was obtained by KDFW (Channel 4) shows a man pouring some sort of substance onto the ground, moments before flames shoot into the air.

Photos of the home show severe fire damage and missing windows.

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Jack Howland is a breaking news and enterprise reporter. Before coming to the Star-Telegram in May 2019, he worked for two and a half years as a breaking news reporter at the Poughkeepsie Journal in New York. He’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.