Investigating Arson at Governor’s Mansion

The arson investigation continues today in downtown Austin at the Governor's Mansion. Federal and state officials are trying to figure out who might have started yesterday's four-alarm fire that ripped through the historical building. Erika Aguilar has more.

Now that the fire’s out and the smoke has cleared here at the Governor’s Mansion onlookers standing at the charred building’s front steps are wondering what went wrong.

“Yeah I was real surprised. I thought they guard this all the time, you know the DPS. And it’s being remodeled. I don’t, I don’t see how someone got in there to do it.”

John Nixon’s question is what’s on everyone’s mind but D-P-S Captain Paul Schulze wouldn’t talk about how security is handled at the mansion. However, he did say the agency was looking at what could have been done better.

“Obviously anytime something like this happens — we don’t like it. We don’t like anything that affects the citizens of this state, the history that involves this mansion. So we would prefer, obviously, that it had not have happened.”

It was D.P.S who called in the fire at 1: 43 a.m. after seeing alarms systems go off. Firefighters arrived on scene two minutes later. It took them more than four hours to douse the flames. Late yesterday afternoon — firefighters put out a small flare up in the mansion’s roof. State Fire Marshall Paul Maldonado says the agency has received several useful calls from the arson hotline and is reviewing multiple hours of security video.

“It’s a terrible tragedy and it happens. Bad people can do bad things, whether your on guard or not.”

State officials say it could be weeks even months before damage estimates are known. Investigators are still asking anyone with information about the fire to call the hotline at 1-877-434-7345.