Fort Worth

Man critical with severe burns following fire in Fort Worth business; arson suspected

What are some obvious signs of arson?

Joheida Fister, fire marshal with the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division in South Carolina, talks about the telltale signs of arson.
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Joheida Fister, fire marshal with the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division in South Carolina, talks about the telltale signs of arson.

A fire that broke out under suspicious circumstances in a north Fort Worth business early Thursday morning left one man in critical condition with severe burns, according to Mike Drivdahl, a fire department spokesman.

The man was flown via CareFlite helicopter to the Parkland Memorial Hospital burn unit in Dallas, Drivdahl said.

Arson investigators were on the scene of the fire in the 3700 block of East Belknap Street on Thursday morning. Witness statements, Drivdahl said, led the department to believe arson could be a potential cause of the fire.

“We do have a belief it is suspicious in nature,” he said.

Firefighters were dispatched around 4:30 a.m. to the building for a report of a structure fire, Drivdahl said. Signs outside the store indicate it’s a billiards room with the name Tuong-Vi Bida.

Firefighters discovered the structure consumed in heavy fire and went inside to try to find victims. They located the severely burned man and brought him out of the building, Drivdahl said.

They began “advanced medical life support procedures” on the man before the helicopter arrived, he said. Photos show firefighters pumping air into the man’s mouth and then wheeling him toward the helicopter in a gurney.

The man had “severe burns to a majority of his body,” Drivdahl said.

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