East Side house fire believed to be arson

Overnight fire destroyed home on Gulf Street

SAN ANTONIO – A fire that destroyed a home on the city's East Side is believed to be the work of an arsonist.

San Antonio arson investigators determined that the fire, which broke out Thursday morning inside a home in the 600 block of Gulf Street, was purposely set.

When firefighters arrived after 2:30 a.m, they found a huge fire ball and flames shooting from the windows of a single-story home.

They did not find anyone inside the home and no one was hurt, according to San Antonio Fire Department spokeswoman Deborah Foster.

Neighbors were unclear about whether anyone actually was living in the home.

Some said the most recent resident had moved out. Others said they saw him in the home earlier this week.

Manuel Ramos said he had lived in the home in the past for nearly two decades. He rushed over after hearing about the fire from a friend.

"The next-door neighbors, they heard some noise," he said. "They thought it was raining. It wasn't raining. They looked out the window and looked at the flames on the house."

By the time Ramos arrived, most of the flames had been extinguished. In place of the fire, he saw the burned out shell of a structure he once called home.

"I have my kids, my family. We all lived there," Ramos said, reminiscing and shaking his head.

Right away, he said, he noticed something unusual about the damage caused by the fire. He said, to him, it all seemed too symmetrical.

"It's kind of weird because usually when it burns down, it burns down one part or most of it," Ramos said. "It seems like the fire spread up through the house, all of it, almost evenly, you know."

His suspicions appeared to be confirmed by arson investigators' findings. 

However, Foster said early on that they had not arrested anyone yet in connection with the fire. 

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