Tuesday’s fire on the exterior of a residence in the 500 block of East 15th is being considered arson, and the Hays Police Department said in a statement the “perpetrator of the crime has been identified.”
They are not, however, releasing the name of the suspect and said they don’t plan to immediately release any additional information.
Hays firefighters were called to the fire at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, dousing the fire on the exterior of the residence, and then promptly turning the scene over to the Hays Police Department.
In the statement released late Tuesday, Assistant Hays Police Chief Brian Dawson said “the cause of the fire is arson and is being investigated by the Hays Police Department and the State Fire Marshal’s office.”
The arson announcement didn’t come as a surprise, as officers on the scene already had suggested something was amiss.
“This is going to be a crime scene,” Hays Police Lt. Brandon Wright said shortly after firefighters left the home at 509 E. 15th.
Wright wouldn’t go into any much detail about the fire, other than to say the “fire was on the outside, on the front of the building.
“This is not something that started on the inside.”
Burned areas along the front and west side of the house were apparent, and Sgt. Jason Bonczynski took photographs of the areas. Shortly after the fire was extinguished, two investigators from the police department were on the scene.
Wright said an officer would remain on the scene of the fire until the investigation was complete. He also said the department likely would issue a statement on the fire.
Firefighters used a single hose to extinguish the fire. Firefighters pulled off lower portions of the vinyl siding and areas around the front door to make sure the fire hadn’t spread.
Hays Fire Chief Gary Brown initially said the fire caused minor damage, but upgraded that to moderate damage because the home’s owner will have to replace the siding, the door and its frame.
Although Wright said he hadn’t been inside the home, he had been told there likely would be smoke damage.
Four fire trucks and 15 firefighters responded, Brown said in a statement. The last firefighters left the scene at 12:32 p.m.