Altus_Fireworks thrown into a family's living room exploded Wednesday night. The incident could have ended in tragedy.
Altus Police say a suspect tried to burn down the house just after 10 p.m. Luckily, the family was still awake and was able to save their home. They say they know who did it, and police are on his trail. The family says this isn't their first run in with the suspect, either. They say they already have a pending case against him, and they think this latest incident is retaliatory.
Homeowner Steve Bartlett was sitting in his living room, watching TV when he got up to check on his 7-year-old daughter. Just inches from his 10-year-old son, Bartlett says someone was trying to burn his house down. "All I see was flashes, crazy flashes," he says. "I looked out my kid's bedroom window, and that's when I hear the door being kicked open, and firecrackers going crazy...my whole living room was plumb full of firecrackers."
Neighbors heard the fireworks and thought it was gunfire - until they saw what was really happening. "When they looked out the window, they did see a subject standing on the porch lighting fireworks there," says Altus Police Captain Michael Turner. "Exactly what the motive was for the suspect, I don't know at this time. I do know that there was an active protective order filed against the suspect that was pertaining to someone that was in that home," he says.
Bartlett has identified the suspect to the police, but they are still trying to determine just why he did it. Bartlett says he's glad there wasn't any more damage done, but it should never have happened in the first place. "It's pretty sorry that someone's going to do that when there's kids in the house," he says.
Police paperwork has been sent to the District Attorney's office for an arrest warrant. Possible charges against the suspect include first-degree burglary, violation of a protective order, and possession of illegal fireworks within city limits.
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