AUSTIN (KXAN) — Firefighters say a barricaded suspect inside an east Austin house set a house on fire and pointed a gun at firefighters. SWAT took over the scene as officers believed it likely he was still inside the house.
At around midnight, the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Arturo Sada, surrendered without incident.
Firefighters were called to the home in the 2300 block of Willow St., just off of Cesar Chavez Street and west of North Pleasant Valley Road, before 9 p.m. and arrived three minutes later.
The Austin Fire Department says its crews entered the house where they found a small fire on a piece of furniture. They saw a man barricaded behind cushions in the back of the room. When firefighters tried to help him, he pointed a gun at them and they backed out of the house.
Division Chief Palmer Buck says they’re “pretty certain” the fire was intentionally set. Two women inside the house are safely outside, police say. One woman was treated for an anxiety attack by Austin-Travis County EMS medics.
A neighbor told KXAN he heard gunshots before police showed up.
AFD investigators will fire first degree felony arson charges against the suspect. Those charges carry a potential five to 99 year prison sentence and/or a $10,000 fine. Other charges may be pending.