Woman believes fire that damaged Southeast Side home was work of an arsonist

Arson investigators still looking for cause

SAN ANTONIO – A woman who was burned out of her Southeast Side home early Wednesday morning said she believes someone purposely started the fire.

San Antonio firefighters responded to a call from a neighbor around 6 a.m. and found a travel trailer on fire in the 1900 block of E. Highland.

RELATED: SAFD responds to fire at Southeast Side home; 2 residents and dog escape

They also found that the flames had spread to a home where Laura McGill had been sleeping.

“My neighbors came banging on my door, saying to wake up and get the kids out of the house, that there’s a fire,” she said. “My kids aren’t here, thank God.”

McGill, whose children are visiting relatives, says she didn’t even notice any smoke.

She said her bedroom is located at one end of the home, while the fire was burning on the other end.

“Whenever I got up, it wasn’t in the house yet. But as soon as I got up, I saw the back window bust in,” she said.

McGill managed to escape the fire on her own, along with another family member and her dog.

More than a dozen fire units responded to the fire, which started in a trailer and spread to a home. (KSAT 12 News)

Firefighters said it appears the fire started in the trailer behind her home.

The flames initially spread to the edge of her home, then moved throughout the home, firefighters said. By the time crews put the fire out, the trailer had burned to the ground.

McGill’s home also was left with extensive damage from both the fire and smoke.

“Definitely, that fire didn’t start on its own,” she said.

For good reason, McGill said, she believes the fire is suspicious.

Firefighters responded to her home just last week to put out a car fire.

McGill believes someone also set that fire intentionally.

However, arson investigators have not yet made a determination about the cause of either fire.

About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.