Cause of fire at historic Abilene hospital ruled arson


ABILENE, Texas - The Abilene Fire Department is expected to release new information Monday about the fire that damaged the former St. Ann's Hospital over the weekend.

The now vacant building in the 1300 block of Cypress Street was set on fire around 2 p.m. Sunday.

"There were no utilities to the structure, so we know that it was going to be caused by a human," said AFD arson investigator Jeremy Williams.

Williams said people living in the area told him six male teens were seen on the property just an hour and a half before the fire started.

The roof collapsed before the fire was put out around 4:30 p.m.

The property, which was St. Ann's from 1940 - 1968, had recently been purchased by Highland Church of Christ. The church plans to turn it into apartments for the homeless.

The fire department is asking anyone with information about who started the fire to call the Abilene Fire Marshal's Office at 325-676-6676.