The teens, whose names have not been released due to their ages, are being charged for felony criminal mischief for their involvement in the fire. As WFAA reports, the charges follow an investigation by officials with the Collin County Fire Marshal’s office.
Around 7:30 p.m., June 25, a fire broke out in McKinney’s Bloomridge master-planned community, engulfing seven under-construction houses. Six of them burned to the ground while one was heavily damaged.
Fortunately, no one was injured, but homeowners were distressed. Mary House, the owner of one of the houses under construction, expressed her distress to NBCDFW saying, “I’m just devastated.” House told Fox 4 that they had picked every detail of her new home. House and Carl Shurson planned to move to their dream home in only a month or two. “It’s hard to swallow,” added Shurson.
Videos from witnesses show large flames consuming several homes at once and columns of black smoke could be seen from miles. Sasidhar Punna, a neighbor, captured the fire spreading across his fence and patio through his Ring camera. “It was brutal,” he said to NBCDFW. “I couldn’t even get to the patio because of the heat, even my hand got burned while opening the patio door.”
As covered by CBS FW, once the fire was extinguished, Collin County Fire Marshal investigators kept working on the site looking for evidence to identify and track down the suspects. They joined forces with special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the intelligence unit of the Collin County Sheriff’s Office.
As of writing, the fire marshal hasn’t released details on how the two teens were connected to the fire. This article will be updated should more information becomes public.