HOUSTON – A fire at Pearson’s Chapel, a series of break-ins and a suspicious car selling jewelry kept local police and fire departments busy last week.
“We’ve got a number of crimes we are investigating in the community,” said Houston Police Chief Billy Voyles. “If people see something suspicious they need to call us and if they are the victim of a crime they need to file a report.”
Voyles said police are investigating a number of break-ins in the community and the theft of bicycles from local homes.
“We think these are local people and if anyone hears anything we urge them to call us anonymously,” said Voyles. “And I have to tell parents all the time if their kid comes home in new clothes or a new bike they need to ask where they got those things.”
The Houston Police Department is investigating the burglary of two businesses last week.
Kat’s Corner and Clark’s Parish Street Florists reported break-ins where a person or persons gained entry to the building after hours, took several items and ransacked the property.
Entry to Kat’s Corner at 314 West Madison, was gained by breaking through a glass door.
The culprits open an empty cash register, searched several rooms and stole several pair of blue jeans.
Entry to Clark’s Florists, at 259 Parish Street, was gained by breaking through a back window.
Burglars apparently searched the building and took a variety of items, including flowers and decorative items.
“We think they were looking for money and when they didn’t find any, they stole some things,” said Voyles. “Very few businesses leave cash inside over night and that is smart.
“If we can catch them with the items they stole it’s easier for us to make a case,” said Voyles. “Cash is a whole lot harder to track.”
Voyles said anyone with information on either of these cases can anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-773-TIPS (8477) and if the information leads to an arrest and conviction, a cash reward will be paid.
The Houston Police Department is investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle on Dorman Avenue last week.
In that case two men approached a women working in her yard on Saturday and asked her if they wanted to buy jewelry.
The woman said the men were very pushy and said they only took cash. The woman said the two African American men were neatly dressed and got into a late-model car with silver rims. The woman later spotted them changing their license plate at the end of the street and called police.
“People need to call us the minute something like this happens,” said Voyles. “We did respond to this call but were unable find them.”
Pearson Chapel fire
The Houston Fire department and four county volunteer departments were dispatched to a fire at Pearson Chapel Nazarene Church Friday night.
Firefighters were dispatched at 9:06 p.m., with a report of smoke coming from a metal building behind the church and arrived at the church at 9:09 p.m.
“There was heavy smoke coming from the building when we arrived at the scene,” said Capt. Jonathan Blankenship, of the Houston Fire Department. “It was a two story, metal building and that made it difficult to fight. We worked hard to keep the fire from spreading to the old sanctuary and were able to save that building.”
Blankenship said the exact cause of the blaze is not known, but appears to have started near the kitchen of the family life center and sanctuary.
The fire was brought under control at 10:49 p.m., and crews were on the scene wetting down hotspots and interviewing witnesses until 11:15 p.m.
“We had plenty of water and plenty of firefighters, but it was a big building,” said Blankenship. “The metal contained the heat and we had a hard time getting to the fire.”
The Houston Fire Department responded with 15 volunteers. Houlka and Thorn volunteer fire departments responded to the blaze and Van Vleet personnel were also toned out.
A firefighter had a finger cut fighting the blaze but was treated on the scene.
Pearson Chapel had just finished work on the building and the building was being used until about 7 p.m. Friday night.