Alto former firefighter arrested after 2nd house burns

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - Alto Police have arrested a former firefighter accused of intentionally setting a fire to a home, a week after he admitted to starting a fire at a neighboring home.

John Earl Compton, 65, is charged with arson.

According to Police Chief Jeremy Jackson, Compton burned the first house on Sycamore Street, but they could not prove he did it on purpose. Compton told KTRE in an interview on December 29 that he had started the fire in that house so that he could stay warm and that it just got out of control when he left it.

Jackson said police had enough reason to believe that Compton intentionally set a damaging fire on December 5 in the house right next door.

"The first fire was accidental, you know, the investigation showed that it was all accidental, to where this fire was not. You know, the investigation proved that he intentionally set this fire," said Jackson.

According to the incident report, Compton set fire to a cardboard box while sitting on the kitchen table.

Compton is a retired firefighter.

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