CCSO still looking for arsonists

Home had previously been burglarized


By Richard Zowie

Times Guardian Staff Writer


The Comal County Sheriff's office is still looking for those responsible for a March 25 arson that caused nearly $400,000 in damage in the River Chase subdivision.

The fire started around 2:35 a.m. that morning, and an alarm triggered the Canyon Lake Fire Emergency Medical Services at 4:02 a.m.

Authorities are hoping that a videotape showing the fire being set will yield some critical clues in a case that so far has yielded only two suspects, both of whom have since been ruled out as the culprits. At this point, nothing is known about the perpetrators.

The video footage shows a split screen: the home's double-car garage (which also functions as an office) on the left and a second-floor room on the right. The fire can be seen igniting on the second floor, and eventually as the blaze raged, smoke appears in the garage area. While there was minimal damage done to the downstairs portion of the home, the top floor was virtually destroyed, authorities said.

Once the CLFEMS arrived, fireman Danny Ray subsequently went in and removed the video player from the wall while the house was still burning.

The house is a model home owned by Premier Custom Homes, a company that builds an estimated 50-60 homes per year. The residence had previously been burglarized twice, prompting the owner to have a video system installed. Police are unsure whether or not the burglaries and the arson are related.

"At this time we've exhausted all of our leads," said Comal County Fire Marshal Lin Manford. "[The perpetrators] sometimes brag to a friend and say what they did. We're hoping someone heard this and is willing to report it."

Previously, two other homes in the subdivision have had fire damage, but Manford said both fires were accidental.

Anyone with information on this crime is encouraged to call the Comal County Crime Stoppers at 620-TIPS (8477) or toll-free at (800) 640-8422. Those with information don't have to give their names, but if their information leads to the arrest and indictment of the person responsible, they can receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Since December 31, 2000, the Crime Stoppers have been able to help solve about 122 cases and arrest 112 individuals. About nearly $21,000 has been paid out in cash rewards.

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