University Of Houston Student Allegedly Set Residence Hall On Fire 'Because He Wanted To'
Move-in week is always hectic on college campuses, though this proved to be especially true for select students at the University of Houston (UH).
August 17, 2022 at 5:44 pm
Kevin Ekofo, a student at the University of Houston (UH), is accused of purposefully setting fire to a residence hall.
However, UH spokesperson Chris Stipes notes that the first, second and third floors could have sustained water damage from the activated nine-story building’s sprinkler system.
“The water damage is the most extensive aspect of it,” Bret Collier, a captain within the UH Police Department, said, Houston Public Media reports. “That’s always going to be true in a building. The actual fire damage will be more contained.”
Notably, Ekofo allegedly told authorities that he started the fire in his fourth-floor dorm room, which was amplified by the use of a liquid accelerant, “because he wanted to and because he could.”
“The entire south hall is coated in gasoline. My shoes are squishing,” one student who lives in the building added, according to ABC13. “The smell is pungent. It was horrible. They got everybody out of the building.”
It’s also worth noting that officials say the 26-year-old student was apprehended while allegedly attempting to start another fire outside of a campus convenience store; he was reportedly caught red-handed on a bike while toting a red gasoline canister.
According to ABC13, Ekofo’s bond was set at $100,000, and a judge reportedly noted that he was a threat to the public; conditions of his bond include a mandatory curfew, electronic monitoring and the requirement that Ekofo stay at least 200 feet away from any UH-affiliated building.
Although this situation, which broke out during move-in week, is now under wraps, parents and students are still grappling with the ordeal.
“It’s worrisome that it happened,” Faisal Rawas, whose daughter is slated to move into the dormitory, said, Houston Public Media reports. “It just can happen at any time. That’s the scary part, and that the guy was trying do to it somewhere else also. I don’t know what’s the deal.”