Standing up for mom could mean time behind prison bars for an El Campo duo who tried to set fire to two homes.

The first time, it seems, they got the wrong address.

Luckily, neither did much damage, according to El Campo Police Lt. Russell Urban.

Targeting the home of their mother’s ex-boyfriend in the 300 block of Palacios, the brother and sister first set a porch on fire – the wrong porch – Tuesday night.

“Damage was limited to the front porch,” Urban said.

They then managed to find the right house, but encountered a problem.

“The fire did not ignite,” Urban said.

The duo’s fiery efforts did not go unnoticed, however.

The residences of the two houses came out and confronted the two.

“(They) held the female suspect until police arrived. Her brother fled on foot,” Urban said.

El Campo’s firefighting volunteers were dispatched to the scene at 11:41 p.m. sending seven units and 20 firefighters. “The first arriving unit arrived and found a small fire on a porch of a small one bedroom house behind the main house ...,” El Campo Volunteer Fire Chief Jimmy George Jr. said, adding two old window air-conditioning units had been set ablaze.

“The AC units were pushed off the porch and a garden hose was used by firefighters to control the fire ... The damage to the house was minimal,” George said.

Maribel Ermina Jaramillo Gonzalez, 20, of 902 W. Fifth was charged with arson: intent to damage a habitation and public intoxication. She was transferred to the Wharton County Jail at 9:11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11. Processed, she was listed in the jail bookings as Maribel Jaramillo Gonzalez. She posted $20,200 in bonds and was released at 3:35 p.m. the same day.

A warrant was issued for the brother, Domingo Palacios, but he remained at large as of presstime Friday.

Arson is always a felony crime, the level of felony depends on the damage done and whether people are endangered or harmed. In this case, Gonzalez was charged with a first degree felony, punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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