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West El Paso man may face more charges for arson that killed mother, brother

Phillip Daniel Mills
Phillip Daniel Mills, charged with with Capital Murder and Arson.
west side fire
El Paso firefighters put out hot spots after a fire a west side El Paso home.

UPDATE, Aug. 23: A 40-year-old west El Paso man already facing a capital murder charge for his brother's death in an arson fire one month ago could be facing additional charges following the death of his mother as a result of injuries she suffered in that same blaze.

Police on Monday confirmed the death of 82-year-old Florence Annette Mills, who had been hospitalized since last month's blaze at the home in the 6000 block of Fandango Place.

A police spokesman said the District Attorney's Office would make the decision on additional charges against Phillip Daniel Mills now that his mother had also died as a result of the fire that he's accused of setting.

UPDATE, July 23: EL PASO, Texas — A 40-year-old west El Paso man was arrested for allegedly setting his home on fire, with the blaze resulting in the death of his brother and the hospitalization of his mother, police said Friday.

"Phillip Daniel Mills set fire to the inside of his home and fled, leaving his mother and brother inside the burning residence," police said in a statement announcing his arrest on charges of capital murder and arson.

Authorities said he was booked into the downtown jail during the noon hour Friday on $2.5 million bond.

The deadly blaze happened late Thursday night in the 6000 block of Fandango Place. An officer on patrol said he spotted Mills running in the area; he reportedly told the officer that his house was on fire.

According to a court affidavit obtained by ABC-7, police indicated Mills later confessed to setting the fire under questioning by detectives. He allegedly told them he ignited a couch, with the flames then spreading - and said he was seeking to purge the home of biblical "evil."

Police said 54–year-old Paul Aaron Mills was pulled from the burning home by firefighters and suffered severe burns; he was rushed to a hospital where he later died from his injuries. Meantime, 82-year-old Florence Annette Mills remained hospitalized Friday as she was being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

(Phillip Daniel Mills, charged with with Capital Murder and Arson.)

ORIGINAL REPORT, July 23: EL PASO, Texas -- Two people were hospitalized after a late Thursday night blaze engulfed a west El Paso home, which police said they were treating as a "crime scene."

The blaze broke out in the 6000 block of Fandango Place near North Mesa Street and Sunland Park Drive shortly before midnight.

One person suffered serious burns while a second had smoke inhalation. Authorities said the injured pair were the only people inside the home when the fire took place.

Police and fire officials said they were investigating what caused the fire. Although police at the fire site labeled the house a "crime scene," they didn't immediately indicate whether arson was suspected.

Article Topic Follows: ABC-7 Alert Center

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