Howard County Arson Investigation Continues

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

Investigators in Howard County continue to learn more about those multiple fires, including the one that happened in the Sand Springs Area, just east of Big Spring. They said while specific details about the fires have not been released, they said they do know how those fires got started.

"We know that they were started with fireworks, and we do have evidence that some accelerants were used to spread it. At this point, we're not exactly sure what type of accelerant, but that is what we are hoping to get back from our results on the lab," said Josh Peterson, investigator with the Howard County Sheriff's Office.

Peterson said those working in the Sheriff's Office aren't sure why several suspects would just go out and start fires. However, with two of them connected to the Volunteer Fire Department, Peterson said one motive could be what he calls the "Hero's Complex."

"You know, somebody wants so bad to be the hero, wants so bad to save someone or to save property or that in this case, a fire may be started intentionally, where they can be the first on the scene, to stop it, where they would look as the hero," said Peterson.

But investigators said it's no excuse to break the law. They add it's important members of the Sheriff's Office and Fire Department continue to work together.

"At this point, we're still sharing the responsibilities and the investigation. [Chief Tommy Sullivan]'s working the aspect of it, with the fires that he would know more about, and we're working more with the people that we would be more equipped to handle," explained Peterson.

As the investigation continues, members of the Sheriff's Office will continue to look for that fourth suspect. They said that while two of the men they have arrested are out on bond, they said they are continuing to talk to them, and interview other people to figure out as much as they can about the whole situation.