San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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April 20th, 2010
Buda death was homicide, officials say


Hays County investigators announced Tuesday that they have opened a homicide investigation in the aftermath of a garage fire and home explosion that rocked the Buda neighborhood of Hays Country Oaks Saturday morning.

Steven Wayne Woelfel, 55, who owned the home at 1132 Live Oak Loop where the fire occurred, was identified as the victim, said Hays County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lt. Leroy Opiela.

Investigators say one fire was deliberately started in the detached garage, which sits about 20 feet from the house. Buda firefighters arrived on the scene of the garage fire at 11 a.m. and found the structure fully engulfed, said Buda Fire Chief Clay Huckaby. About five minutes later, an explosion blew out the windows of the home and ripped the back wall off the structure.

Investigators say the explosion may have been caused by candles left lit in front of an ignited gas stove.

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