Hotel Economico Fire Declared Arson

POSTED: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 4:25pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 1:45pm

They’re now calling it arson and police are in the hunt for a couple who threw a Molotov Cocktail into one of the bedrooms at The Hotel Economico. On May 9th, Brownsville Firefighters responded to a fire on 12th Street. When they arrived, they found the second story of the hotel completely engulfed in flames. Authorities say the fire was so strong, most of the roof was destroyed and mattresses were burned down to the metal springs.

Investigators believe a couple in their 20's to 30's may be to blame. Throughout the 2-week investigation, fire officials have learned a prostitute and a man got into a fight shortly before the fire. Police say the man, who drove a gray Jaguar, followed the prostitute and threw a brick at her. After throwing the brick back at the driver, he then threw a Molotov Cocktail into the hotel.

Although no injuries were reported, Fire Marshal, Ben Nuñez, says people were inside the building that night but were able to escape.

The man police are looking for is said to be between 20 and 30 years old, light to medium complexion, has several tattoos on his chest and appears to be a member of the Vallucos Gang. The prostitute is about the same age and has long dark hair.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts, please call Brownsville Crime Stoppers at: 546-8477.