Skip to Content

Man Sets Home On Fire While Cleaning Bong

A bong, some rubbing alcohol, and a match made for a blazing hot combination.

Using a device most commonly used to smoke marijuana, a North Las Cruces man burned his house down to nothing. Dona Ana County Sheriff’s officials said he did it on purpose.

Neighbors in the area told ABC-7 Andrew Garcia?s wife wanted a divorce. Garcia was allegedly talking about setting his house on fire and then investigators say, he actually did.

?As I was out there feeding my horses, I saw some first about 7 or 8 feet tall,? Val Barela, who lives in the area, said. ?But I thought they were burning trash.?

Burning trash and everything in its path, the mobile home melted into a black pile of soot.

?After a little while it got bigger and bigger and bigger,? Barela said. ?And it started spreading and getting bigger and pretty soon the trailer caught on fire.?

Dona Ana County Sheriff?s arrested 30 year old Garcia.

Investigators say Garcia admitted to setting his own home on fire with a bong.

“While cleaning his bong with rubbing alcohol, he turned the bong over and ignited the rubbing alcohol and decided he was going to set his mobile home on fire,? Bo Nevarez, DASO Investigator, said. ?[Garcia] went to the curtains and lit the curtains on fire then went to the children’s bedroom.”

When flames spread out of control, investigators say they learned from Garica, he wanted to kill himself, but couldn?t find his shotgun.

“We’re dealing with an individual who’s distraught to begin with,? Nevarez said. ?And who readily admitted to investigators he was addicted to drugs and had some personal issues going on.”

Garcia allegedly panicked and drove away, leading investigators on a slow-speed chase.

“This is a very unusual incident,? Nevarez said. ?21 years in law enforcement and I never recalled any incident where somebody used a bong to start a fire, at least intentionally.”

Garcia lived inside the mobile home with his wife and two children.

No one was hurt.

Garcia is charged with arson and aggravated fleeing.

Possession of drug paraphernalia could be added to the list, but investigators say, evidence of the device went up in smoke with the rest of his belongings.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content