McAllen woman charged with arson for house fire

Police arrested a 34-year-old McAllen woman on Tuesday who they accuse of setting her own home on fire after an argument with her husband while children were inside the home.

Maria Faith Martinez is charged with arson and four counts of endangering a child. She remains jailed on a total of $166,500 in bonds, records show.

A probable cause affidavit details how McAllen police and fire responded to the blaze, which occurred at 5:26 a.m. on July 26 at Martinez’s residence on the 6500 block of North 33rd Street.

“Upon arrival the southwest corner bedroom was observed completely engulfed in flames. Maria was observed washing her hands,” the affidavit stated.

The investigation revealed Maria had been arguing with her husband that night. Both of them had been drinking and smoking, according to police.

“Maria and her husband were arguing, Maria attempted to set home on fire but was stopped by her husband who left right after,” the affidavit stated. “Shortly thereafter a fire ensued in the master bedroom. Maria was the only other person in the residence at that time.”

There had been several young children in the house, buy the oldest one had led the younger ones out and called 9-1-1, authorities say.

A fire department arson investigator determined the fire was not accidental.