Las Cruces man suspected of starting fire in abandoned home charged with arson


Man claimed he was a firefighter and knew how to control the fire

Jamie Garcia, 32, arrested for arson

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Las Cruces police arrested a 32-year-old man suspected of setting fire inside an abandoned home on Saturday.

Jaime R. Garcia was charged with a third-degree felony count of arson and a misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property.

According to the Las Cruces Police Department, around 1 p.m. on Saturday, Las Cruces fire and police were dispatched to the report of smoke coming from a window of an abandoned home on the 900 block of Brownlee Avenue.

Firefighters entered the home and quickly extinguished the fire that was contained to one small room.

Officers located Garcia crouched down in an alcove of the structure.

When interviewed by police, Garcia claimed that he was a firefighter and knew how to control the fire. Investigators determined that Garcia is not a firefighter and learned that he stayed in the abandoned home the previous night without permission to be there.

Garcia was arrested Saturday afternoon and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.

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