East side residents say vacant homes encourage arson

Number of arson fires fought stands at 7

Author: Matt Rivers, Video Journalist, mrivers@ksat.com
Published On: Feb 05 2013 06:15:20 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 05 2013 06:35:29 PM CST
SAN ANTONIO -

The amount of suspected arson fires the San Antonio Fire Department has put out in vacant homes in the last several weeks now stands at seven.

The Tuesday morning fire on Robeson Street was the latest arson in a spree that's left people on the east side nervous.

"It's scary to know that someone could be out there, roaming the east side," said Juan Garcia, president of the Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association.

While the fire department has not said whether one person could be responsible for all the fires, all seven have been set in vacant properties on the east side.

"The city needs to get serious about demolishing these dangerous properties," said Dan Martinez, president of the East San Antonio Crime Coalition. "These houses invite trouble."

Another high-profile, east side fire happened on Saturday, when the Childress Memorial Church of God in Christ was destroyed in a two-alarm blaze.

Investigators have not said if they believe the fire was accidental or intentional, but speculation that the fire is a crime has run rampant through surrounding neighborhoods.