Port Arthur man indicted for allegedly setting house on fire after argument with wife

Published 12:16 am Sunday, November 12, 2023

Investigators believe a Port Arthur man set his home on fire by igniting what appeared to be a pillow after he had an argument with his wife.

The man, identified as Jerome Holmes, 58, was allegedly leaving the area of the fire Oct. 27, when Port Arthur police and firefighters arrived at the home in the 2000 block of 13th Street.

Prior to the arrival of police, the man’s wife called 9-1-1 and told dispatch her husband threatened to set the house on fire.

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According the affidavit for arrest warrant, Holmes repeatedly asked police officers about the safety of his wife and also apologized multiple times. When asked what he was apologizing for, he reportedly would not answer.

His wife reportedly saw him attempt to start the fire, which is what led her to call 9-1-1, the document read.

During the investigation, the deputy fire marshal noted heavy fire damage to the front of the home, which is the area the man allegedly said he would set on fire.

The fire marshal also found a teddy bear and what appeared to be pillow stuffing in the area, some of which did not burn during the fire.

Further investigation reportedly showed the origin of the fire was under the house.

Holmes was arrested Oct. 27 and remains in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility as of Friday afternoon.

The indictment on a charge of arson was handed down this week.

An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.