Relative of fallen SAFD firefighter surprised by recent arrest

A day after authorities arrested a man suspected of starting a fire that killed a San Antonio firefighter, the family of that young hero, Scott Deem, spoke publicly.

SAN ANTONIO - A day after authorities arrested a man suspected of starting a fire that killed a San Antonio firefighter, the family of that young hero, Scott Deem, spoke publicly.

Louis Martinez hasn't been to San Antonio since his nephew Scott Deem died.

"It's kind of hard to talk about this," Martinez said.

For the first time Thursday afternoon, Martinez visited the shopping center where the young father and husband passed away.

"It just breaks our heart to come today," Martinez said.

Louis was shocked when he heard that the fire on May 18 was not accidental.

Authorities said Emond Johnson, who owned the Spartan Box gym, intentionally started the fire.

"Last night when we got in we turned on the TV. To our surprise, the fire chief was on TV telling us how someone had intentionally set the fire, which makes this even harder to cope with," Martinez said.

Investigators said Johnson owed more than $6,865.28 in back rent. A fire would allow Johnson to break his 62-month lease.

"I just don't know why someone would do something over such a small amount of money," said Martinez. "What he took away from everybody for that small amount of money. It did cause our family members a lot of grief, I can tell you that."

Martinez said his prayers are with Scott's widow and three kids as they try to move forward without a man who was truly one of a kind.

"Scott was just a great person, he really was, he would do anything for anybody," Martinez said.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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