Man who torched SA auto glass business was hired as handyman days earlier, owners say

Suspect being treated at University Hospital

SAN ANTONIO – The owners of a Southwest Side auto glass business partially destroyed in a fire on New Year's Eve said the armed man responsible for the blaze had been hired to work there days earlier.

Man steals firearm, starts building fire, police say

"To have someone like that pay you back in that way is just unbelievable," said Cyntia Flores, whose father-in-law started the company in the 1200 block of Quintana Road decades ago.

Flores' two adult sons lived in the building that was destroyed and lost all of their possessions in the fire, which was started some time after 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

A San Antonio Police Department lieutenant who provided information at the scene said the suspect stole a gun from a family member, barricaded himself inside the two-story structure, started a fire and then stayed inside for more than an hour, until the flames became too intense.

The suspect then jumped through a first-story window before being taken into custody, according to the lieutenant.

The man, who remains at University Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, has not been officially charged but will likely face several felony charges including burglary and arson.

Flores said the building that burned down was used to store records, parts, equipment, family heirlooms and photo albums.

She confirmed the structure was not insured.

The family has started a Fire Relief Fund to replace personal possessions and to help pay for a new home for Flores' sons.

About the Author: