Investigators find evidence of arson

A fire at a water pumping construction site was unanimously ruled as arson by investigators at the scene.

On Monday, Jan. 31, an employee of Cajun Contractors arrived at the construction site and found the mobile office trailer engulfed in flames.

Canyon Lake Fire/EMS responded to the 6:19 a.m. 911 call.

Cajun Contractors was hired by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) to build a water pumping station as part of their Western Canyon Treated Water Supply Project, which has been a controversial project with some of the Canyon Lake community.

The water supply project is essentially designed to pump water out of Canyon Lake to help supply communities in portions of Comal and Kendall counties with a firm supply of treated surface water.

As a result of the proposed project, a group of Canyon Lake home and business owners banded together to form the Friends of Canyon Lake (FOCL) in an effort to put legal and legislative pressure on GBRA to prevent them from going through with the water supply project.

FOCL was unsuccessful in their mission and GBRA began the first phase of the project, which is the construction of the water pumping station by Comal Park.

The Wednesday after the fire at the construction site, GBRA officials in Seguin, Texas, received a letter with a San Antonio postmark identifying FOCL as responsible for setting the fire.

Bob Wickman, president of the board of directors for FOCL, informed Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford that the group does not condone this type of activity and hopes that the individual(s) responsible are apprehended and prosecuted.

"I did not know about the fire until yesterday (Thurs., Feb 3)," Wickman said. "It is a stupid, childish thing to do."

Deputy Fire Marshal Wayne Ellington, along with ATF agent Marshal Littleton and a private investigator explored the debris.

Because the property belongs to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it is standard procedure to have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms come in for investigation.

The investigation of the fire scene was completed early Thursday morning and it was unanimous among the investigators that the fire was incendiary, meaning that the fire was intentionally set.

Investigators used a K-9 unit to go through the scene and discovered that an accelerant was used, which has been sent to Austin for laboratory analysis.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was also called in, but their course of action is only to assist with the investigation.

Anyone having information about this fire is asked to contact the Comal County Fire Marshal's office at (830) 620-3417, Ext. 204 or (830) 885-4883. They may also contact Crime Stoppers at (830) 620-TIPS (8477) or (800) 640-8422.

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