Woman arrested on arson charge in apartment fire; victims salvage damaged belongings

Crystal Garcia allegedly threw object at ex-girlfriends apartment, causing fire

SAN ANTONIO – A woman has been arrested and charged with arson days after investigators say she started a fire at her ex-girlfriend's East Side apartment.

The suspect, 33-year-old Crystal Garcia, is in custody, but others who lived in the building, such as Denise Stone, may also suffer long-term consequences.

“First, I can't believe it. For one woman to do all this,” Stone said, thinking back to Saturday morning. “I was asleep, and all of a sudden, (I) heard this banging on the next door neighbors door and they were banging, like, 'Get out! Get out!”

Though the reason why is unclear, investigators said, a witness reported seeing Garcia throw something at her ex-girlfriend's Cottage Creek apartment home, which was on the other side of Stone's unit. A fire ignited and spread.

There were no injuries, but everyone in the building was forced out.

“My place was already filled with smoke damage. I got up and ran outside, as everybody else did,” Stone said.

Stone's sister, Annette, went by the unit Friday to help pick up the pieces.

“Today was my first day seeing it. I was just shocked. It hurts, but I was telling (Denise) the most important thing is that she got out safely with her cat,” Annette said.

Stone and her family were able to save certain priceless mementos, such as a Bible and pictures of her parents. She said, however, most of what she's collected in her apartment over the past six years had to be thrown away.

“I've lost my dressers. I’ve lost my bed,” Stone said.

“A lot of things that are fabric-type (aren't) going to be salvageable, so it's going to, you know, go straight to the trash,” said Travis Haslett, Stone’s son.

Stone said the San Antonio Housing Authority gave her another apartment in the complex. Meanwhile, Garcia sits in the Bexar County Jail with bail set at $20,000.