FORT WORTH, TX - 7/28/2019 On Sat 7/27/19 at 0425 hours, the Fort Worth Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire in the 3700 block of Hulen Park Cir. Upon arrival, a vehicle was on fire as well as a residential dwelling. The fires were quickly extinguished by Fire personnel and Fort Worth Fire Arson Investigators were notified due to the suspicious nature. Arson investigators determined that a total of three fires were intentionally and met the elements of offense for arson.
The investigation revealed that this criminal episode began on the evening of a Friday 7/26/19 and escalated from a domestic disturbance. Specifically, the suspect was aware that the residence was occupied by children and the fires are believed to have been intentionally set in locations to prevent the occupants from readily escaping the flames.
Investigators spent most of Saturday 7/27/19 conducting interviews with the victims and witnesses, canvassing the neighborhood and obtaining security camera footage. Investigators developed a suspect profile and soon thereafter a person of interest. The person of interest was located and continuous surveillance was initiated. Five felony probable cause arrest warrants and a search warrant were obtained from a Tarrant County magistrate.
At 0345 hours on Sunday 7/28/19, Fort Worth Fire Department Arson Investigators and the Arlington SWAT team served the felony arrest warrants on the suspect. He was arrested without incident and transported to the Arlington city jail.
The suspect is identified as Courtney Eugene Smith, 39 years old from Arlington. Bond has been set at $195,000 as well as special bond conditions as set forth by the magistrate.
According to Fire Chief James Davis, “Fire used as a weapon, threat, or intimidation will not be tolerated in Fort Worth”. “We will aggressively investigate and assist with prosecution to the fullest extent of the law”.
The Fort Worth Fire Department would like to thank everyone who cooperated in this investigation; the residents of the neighborhood, the Fort Worth and Arlington Police Departments, as well as the Tarrant County Prosecutor’s Office.
If you have any knowledge regarding this incident or any other arson incident, you are urged to contact Fort Worth Fire Department Arson Investigators at (817) 392-6850.