Arson suspected in W. Covina house fires

WEST COVINA, Calif. "Please, stop it," said arson victim Robert Ho. "OK? It's all nice people around here. We're not trying to cause any trouble."

Robert Ho says every room in his four-bedroom home of 20 years sustained substantial fire damage. It was just before 3 a.m. Saturday when, according to Ho, someone threw something through the first-floor window, setting his house on fire.

"When I look at my bathroom, I don't know what caused it, but I figured that somebody threw the stuff from outside [in]to my bathroom," said Ho.

Ho's 95-year-old father and one of his daughters were home with him at the time. His elderly father recently underwent heart surgery. Ho said he's back in the hospital. Ho's father lives in an upstairs bedroom.

Ho's neighbor two doors away was also hit by suspected arsonists about a month ago. Ho describes what he saw that night.

"Both of them threw the fireball," said Ho. "One against the front door, the other one in the garage. And there's a guy, he had the hood on, on top of that. So both guys, both people had the hood on. So I cannot tell the age, the race or anything. Just two guys."

Then the threatening letters arrived. He said his neighbor got one soaked in gasoline saying, "We'll be back." He received one saying, "You're next."

When asked if there is any connection between the two, West Covina Police Lt. Ron Mitchell said, "We're not ruling that out. It would appear to be so because it's in the same area. And given that it's such a difficult thing to prove that it's an arson or not, and something that doesn't happen that often in our community, you have to look at that possibility as well because it's in the same cul-de-sac."



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