The San Antonio Fire Department’s investigation into the fire that destroyed an east side church on Saturday is underway, with the biggest question -- what caused the fire -- as-yet unanswered.
“It’s far too early in our investigation to determine the cause of the fire yet,” said San Antonio fire Chief Charles Hood. “I know many people are asking about arson, but the truth is it’s going to be a while before we complete our full investigation.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was asked by the department to assist in that investigation, and the agency obliged.
Twenty of its National Response Team members deployed to the scene Monday morning, including experts in fire investigation, engineers, and 3D mapping specialists.
ATF officials said the full investigation will likely take seven to 10 days before it’s fully complete, however, preliminary results could be released before that.
Six recent fires in the same general area as the church are suspected of being arson, according to the fire department, prompting speculation that this fire could be number seven.
“We are in no way connecting this fire to those other ones,” replied Hood. “We’ve ruled nothing out, but like I said, we are in the early stages of this investigation.”