DALLAS - Police believe someone intentionally torched the house where a woman was found dead in South Dallas Friday morning.
The fire on Elsie Faye Higgins Street near Highway 352 started around 4 a.m. It spread to two houses.
The firefighters were able to quickly put out the flames. But afterward, they found a woman’s body in a back bedroom.
Investigators now believe an unknown suspect threw an object with accelerant against the house and ignited it.
Police say it’s unclear if the woman found dead inside the home was killed by the fire or something else.
A family member who was also in the house at the time, but managed to get out safely, said he heard someone shooting at the house as this was all happening.
Authorities have not released the victim’s name, but family members identified the woman killed as 38-year old Niki Jones. They say she lived there with her uncle.
Her uncle said she was sleeping in the back bedroom, and he was watching TV in the front of the house, when someone threw something at the house, which burst into flames.
He added that a short time later, he heard gunshots, and tried to put out the flames.
“It came up under that window, it caught my curtains on fire. I was trying to put that out. By that time, I looked outside, and the whole front of the house, it blazed up, so I ran back in the house to try and get some more water. By that time, all the electricity burned up, all the lights were off. I’m still trying to call her, where she’s at, she didn’t answer,” the victim’s uncle, Ricky Lobles, said.
He said that the flames got to be too much, and he had to get out of the house.
Firefighters discovered the body later, after the fire was put out. The medical examiner will determine how she died.
Police have not named any suspects or a person of interest, but the family said they have an idea of who may have done this.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Det. Christopher Walton at 214-671-3632 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crime Stoppers is also offering up to a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and indictment. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 214-373-TIPS.