Arsonist sets fire to front porch of house in Riverwest neighborhood

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- An arsonist struck the Riverwest neighborhood, setting fire to a front porch. The family inside worked together dousing flames until firefighters arrived.

An 83-year-old man and his wife live here. They rushed to the kitchen, filling pots with water, and desperately throwing them at the flames, trying to save this house where they raised their children.

"Then I hear my dad scream 'get out of the house, get out, open the door' because the fire was here and I could see it from the top window. The flames were high. My reaction was I need to save my parents. I need to get them out. I need to get out of here. This is not safe," said Yessie Borquez.

Home surveillance near Center and Booth Street caught the guy on camera, leaving what appears to be a bottle of explosives on their front porch, then stepping away as flames quickly appear. Inside, terrifying moments early Wednesday. Yessie Borquez says the family woke to a loud, booming sound. Her dog was barking -- her mom screaming -- and she knew they needed to act fast.

"My mom did one thing. My dad did another. I took care of my dog so she won't come outside. She got on the phone and I helped my mom as well. More importantly, calming them down. I was afraid for them," said Borquez.

Firefighters got here fast and contained the flames to the porch. The fire did burn these flowers though, and also, this is all that's left of a flag that was hanging here.

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