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Arrest made in connection to July fires

By Kati Walker

Modesto Chavez, Jr., 19, 1830 9th Street, was indicted last Wednesday, August 24, for two counts of arson, committed Monday, July 25. He was arrested Tuesday, August 30.

The fire was reported just after 5 a.m. July 25 at 1603 Houston Street.

According to the report by the fire department, the preliminary investigation indicated no evidence of an accidental fire cause. 

After the state arranged for a K-9 at the scene, it was determined there were two origins of the fire. The second fire was at 1513 10th Street and occurred approximately an hour and a half after the first. 

Investigators found footprints leading from the second fire back to the first fire.

Both residences were unoccupied at the time of the fire. The house at 1603 Houston was in the process of being renovated.

Levelland Fire Marshall Jay McKay said the fire originated in two points and was determined to be incendiary in nature. Loss of property at 1603 Houston, reported by the fire department, was $35,000. At 1513 10th Street, the value of property loss was $200.

Cheryl Smart confirmed she is the owner of the Houston Street property. 

According to the Hockley County Appraisal District, Modesto Chavez is the owner of the property at 1513 10th Street.

Chavez is being held at the Hockley County Jail on two bonds for $10,000 each.

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