Authorities have arrested the man they believe intentionally set a southwest Austin duplex on fire Sunday morning, leaving seven people without a home.
At around 10 a.m. Sunday, Austin Fire Department crews responded to the 6200 block of Hill Forest Drive where "heavy fire" was coming from the back of the building. Crews were able to knock out the flames quickly. Most of the damage in the two-story home was on the lower level. AFD said the fire caused $240,000 worth of damage. The families in both units were able to get out safely. The Red Cross helped assist them.
Fire investigators learned that officers with the Austin Police Department were called out to the duplex regarding a disturbance Saturday night. The victim who made the call told police that her ex-boyfriend, Patrick Lee Corley, came to her residence and argued with her. As they argued, she said he broke the windshield of her vehicle and the window of her residence. By the time police arrived at her residence, Corley had left.
Less than an hour before the fire started at the duplex, the victim began receiving a string of text messages from Corley. According to the warrant for his arrest, Corley allegedly sent the following texts to the victim:
9:18 a.m.: "You need to call me, if you don't, bad things will happen."
9:21 a.m.: "I am being serious."
9:33 a.m.: "Only you can stop all this if you answer the phone."
9:40 a.m.: "Your house is on fire, think I'm Playing [sic]. Look at yourself, I told you to answer."
Corley was arrested Monday afternoon, AFD said. Online records at the Travis County Jail state he is being held on $30,000 bond.