Two Arrested for Hotel Arson
Benjamin Haskell Copeland, 34, and Julius Emaniel King, 28, have been arrested in connection with a fire at the High Five Inn in Killeen on May 2.
Firefighters discovered an unknown substance while investigating the hotel room from which smoke was coming, leading to the evacuation of the hotel and a nearby building.
A Fort Hood Emergency Ordnance Disposal team determined that the substance was not an explosive. Because the substance could not immediately be identified, the room was declared a hazardous scene.
Firefighters smelled chlorine in the smoke, and in the room found aluminum foil, starter fluid, chlorine tablets, acetone, brake fluid, a medical mask, plastic gloves, and a glass coffee carafe. Firefighters determined that there had been a chemical reaction.
Identification cards for King were found in the room, and the manager confirmed that he had confronted King. Security footage showed King and Copeland entering and exiting the room while smoke was coming out.
An employee at a nearby Family Dollar store stated that King had come in to purchase aluminum foil, and provided security footage as well.
A May 2 receipt from O'Reilly's Auto Supply indicated that Copeland had purchased brake fluid and starter fluid.
King told officers that he was living in the hotel and that on the day of the fire he had been in the room with a man whose last name was Copeland.