LUBBOCK, Texas— A Lubbock man was arrested May 27 on charges of arson in the 2100 block of Avenue Q. 

LPD responded to a water flow alarm at The Que apartment complex and found water coming of room 111. The officer-in-charge banged on the door multiple times but no one answered.  He had responding officers force the door open.  LPD advised the suspect Russel Lee Caldwell, 61, fled the scene.

Officers found multiple boxes and a mattress stacked in front of the door on the inside of the apartment and  “discovered a fire was set on the kitchen counter that was extinguished by the fire sprinkler system” the police report stated.   

I [officer-in-charge] observed a basket on the kitchen counter that was full of debris that exhibited with fire. In the fire debris, inside the burned basket, I observed a blue cigarette lighter” the officer-in-charge said.

A neighbor of Caldwell said he heard loud noises come from Caldwell’s room and did not think much of it because Caldwell is always loud in his room. He went to bed at approximately 10:30 pm and was awoken by the fire alarm.

The owner of the Whataburger on Avenue Q and 19th Street encountered Caldwell twice the previous night and thought he was under the influence of meth due to his appearance.  The owner called EMS and took Caldwell to Covenant Emergency Room where he was arrested.