Bexar County property owner warns residents to be on the lookout after 2 suspicious fires

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – A Bexar County property owner is warning his neighbors to be on the lookout for suspicious people inside unoccupied buildings after back-to-back fires destroyed two of his properties.

John Ripley owns a mobile home park on Walzem Road near New World Drive. The property has about 90 buildings, and about a half-dozen or more that are under repair. On Sunday, firefighters were called to a fire at one of the unoccupied buildings.

“I’m told by one of the witnesses that it started very small and then all of a sudden exploded out into a fire engulfing the whole mobile home in a matter of seconds,” Ripley said. 

County fire investigators are looking at this incident as a suspicious fire.

Ripley said that there was another fire Nov. 13 at an unoccupied mobile home across from the same property. Both destroyed homes sit at the end of the property, away from view.

Ripley said his tenants are reluctant to come forward if they saw something, but he worries that if the fires continue, someone could get hurt.

“I’d like to warn people (to) be on the lookout for anybody who’s acting suspiciously in a vacant structure, whether it’s here or any of the neighborhoods around here,” he said.

Ripley said each destroyed building will cost about $12,000. He now has to pay at least $2,000 to have the debris cleared.

Investigators said both fires are under investigation.

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