SAFD Arson Bureau make arrests in two recent East Side fires

Kathryn Bassignana and Cruz Rivas are each charged with arson in separate incidents

Kathryn Bassignana and Cruz Rivas are each charged with arson in separate incidents on the East Side. (BCSO/KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Fire Department Arson Bureau arrested two suspects in the last week accused of arson in separate incidents.

One of the fires was set in March, the other in May.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Kathryn Bassignana, 34, is accused of setting several small fires inside an abandoned warehouse known as the Friedrich Building on E. Commerce.

Firefighters were called on March 15 and found three small fires burning. Two of those fires caused damage to the building and could have destroyed the building had they not been extinguished in time, the affidavit states.

Investigators said Bassignana lit the fires to illuminate areas in the building so she could access her belongings.

In a separate incident, Cruz Rivas, 37, is accused of setting fire to an abandoned home at 901 E. Crocket St. on May 21.

The two-story home collapsed as firefighters were trying to extinguish the flames.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Rivas was captured on a neighbor’s surveillance camera as he jumped over a fence and entered the home. Smoke was visible from the home a short time later.

Investigators said Rivas lives about a mile from the home.

He had been arrested for burglary of a building in May and was out on bond when the arson occurred.

Rivas was arrested on a warrant on June 14.

Both Rivas and Bassignana are charged with arson.

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About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.