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2 large fires within 5-hour span, less than 2 miles apart in Seguin spark arson suspicions

SEGUIN, Texas – People in Seguin said one large fire is rare, but two during a five-hour span is suspicious.

The two fires — the first Wednesday evening and the second Thursday morning — were less than 2 miles away from each other, and the Seguin Fire Department has asked the State Fire Marshal’s Office for help in the investigation.

Full of books, desks and surplus supplies, the old building on the grounds of Seguin High School was slated for demolition and used for storage. It had plenty of fuel for the flames.

"There's so much debris that was already in there, it makes it extremely hard to get an accurate answer," Seguin Fire Marshal Greg Dreiss said of the ongoing investigation into the cause.

That two-alarm fire, which happened around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, is just part of the aftermath for the Seguin Fire Department. It has asked the State Fire Marshal’s Office for more manpower and resources.

Just five hours before the fire at the high school, around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, a three-alarm fire was taxing the Fire Department's resources. The early 1900s-era barn on West New Braunfels Street was full of grain and is still smoldering. Dreiss said investigators will have to wait until next week before they can even get inside.o 

"There are a lot of unknowns we want to answer," Dreiss said.

The state plans to begins a joint investigation first thing Friday morning. The state's local branch in Seguin already had a canine unit out at the high school.

Right now, Dreiss said there is nothing linking the fires or suggesting arson.

"If at the end of our investigation we find information that puts them together, then we'll tie ‘em back together after the fact," Dreiss said.

Answers on at least one of the sites should come within the week. Anyone with information is asked to call Guadalupe County Crime Stoppers at (877) 403-TIPS.

Isabel Belmarez lives just blocks from the barn fire. She wants to know what caused them.

"That's all we want is answers. Who started it? I mean, what started it?" she said.