Man accused of setting fire outside Lowe’s at The Rim after buying lighter fluid there, records show

Police: Suspect also returned item that required him to show an ID

SAN ANTONIO – A man was arrested after San Antonio police said he set a fire outside a Lowe’s store at The Rim.

Christopher Carlos Cuellar, 40, was taken into custody on Wednesday on a charge of arson-reckless-cause damage, a state felony, records show.

An arrest warrant affidavit states that at 3 a.m. on June 29, security video at the store captured Cuellar arriving at the back of the store on a bicycle. At around 3:25 a.m., Cullar is seen igniting cardboard bales on fire, police said.

Investigators added that he used what appeared to be charcoal lighter fluid to accelerate the flames. The video shows him getting back on his bicycle and riding away.

The affidavit states the bales, which were stored adjacent to the rear wall for recycling, were burning for more than an hour before the fire was discovered by a store manager.

The flames spread to the exterior wall but did not progress into the structure.

Police said they identified Cuellar as the suspect because employees recognized him as a customer.

The day prior, police said, Cuellar returned an item that required him to show identification. He also purchase charcoal lighter fluid and other items on the night of June 28, police said.

Records show he is also charged with family assault, a third-degree felony. His bond is set at $85,000.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.