SAN ANTONIO -

An historic South Side mansion -- once home to architect O'Neil Ford, who designed the Tower of the Americas -- was the scene of suspected arson Monday morning.

San Antonio firefighters first responded to the estate on Willow Way and found smoke and fire, as well as a man who didn't belong at the home.

"He was making off-the-wall statements, wasn't making any type of sense, so on further investigation, we just figured he had ingested some type of narcotic (or) illegal substance," said San Antonio police Sgt. Earl Tovar.

The man told firefighters he crossed the San Antonio River to get to the estate, which backs up to the river.

According to police, the man claimed someone was trying to catch him, that there had been shots fired, and there were bodies.

The man also told police he set the fires.

"He claims he started the fires due to (the fact that) he needed help. Again, he's making hallucinating statements, saying someone is possibly chasing him, and that he started the fire because he knew emergency services would come out here and help him," Tovar said.

Police investigated, but did not find any evidence that the man's claims were true.

He was treated at the scene by EMS, and police said he would likely get mental help.

The man was also expected to face charges for arson.

Firefighters did not release a damage estimate.

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