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A 89-year-old Tyler man accused of burning a vacant house down last November was recently indicted for arson.

A Smith County grand jury handed down an indictment for Kermit Francis Gabel on Feb. 4 in the 114th District Court in connection with a late-night fire on Nov. 6 last year at a vacant structure at 205 S. Beckham Ave.

He was arrested one week later on Nov. 13 and he remains in the Smith County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

The fire department was dispatched to the Beckham Ave. incident just after 11 p.m. Nov. 6 with the structure fully involved in flames upon arrival. Firefighters cleared the scene at 2:18 a.m. Three engines, one ladder truck, a battalion chief and two investigators all responded to the fire.

No one was reported to be injured as a result of the fire.

In 2019, Gabel was convicted on property theft between $100 and $750. He was sentenced to 20 days in the county jail.

Prior to the fire at the Beckham Avenue structure, firefighters responded to a fire at another vacant house in Tyler as well as an explosion and fire at Greenberg Smoked Turkeys.


Multimedia Journalist

I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.