IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – An Irving taxi cab driver was arrested on Sunday for possessing prohibited weapons, after firefighters came across them in his apartment while battling a small kitchen fire.
Firefighters spotted a minor blaze in an apartment unit in the 3600 block of Block Drive between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning. After putting out the fire, authorities found jugs of an unknown liquid with some crude wiring setups. A hazardous materials team was called to the scene.
The HAZMAT team tested the findings, and while nothing posed an immediate threat, the sole resident of the apartment complex was arrested for possession of prohibited weapons, a Class 3 felony. Nearby neighbors were evacuated, but the entire apartment complex was not.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation then took over the case and searched the apartment. Initially, officials said that the man had been arrested for possessing bomb-making materials, but police formally changed the charge to possessing prohibited weapons. A police spokesman said that the evidence better fits the latter charge. Local and federal agencies are reviewing the case for more potential charges.
Authorities asked nearby residents to move their cars from the parking lot. After this was done, only the man’s taxi remained. The cab is registered to 40-year-old Sharif Ahmed Nour from Somalia. He is also listed as the resident of the apartment unit where police found the prohibited weapons. Nour was charged, but was not yet booked into the Irving Jail.
“Thank God that nothing happened to us or anybody,” said neighbor Consuelo Sanchez. “Thank God they caught him in time. So, we are blessed.”
Nour’s only other criminal offense was from June 12, 2010 in Irving, for disobeying a traffic control device. He received 30 days probation. The apartment complex is less than one mile from DFW International Airport.