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Keep Houston Press Free
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John Earl Compton: Mugshot Hall of Famer at Heart of Two Suspicious House Fires

Hell of a way for a retired firefighter to spend his golden years...Police in the East Texas town of Alto say that 65-year-old John Earl Compton torched two neighboring houses last month.

He's only being charged with arson in one of the cases. Alto police chief Jeremy Jackson told KTRE that they had probable cause to charge Compton with setting a damaging fire in a vacant home on Alto's Sycamore Street on December 5. An incident report states that Compton was reckless enough to set fire to a cardboard box while sitting at the kitchen table in the empty house, and then admitted to leaving it unattended.

The other home belonged to his sister.

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