SAN ANTONIO — The owner of a San Antonio gym that burned last May, killing a firefighter, has been charged with murder and arson.

Emond Johnson was arrested Wednesday on a murder count and two each of arson and arson causing bodily injury. He’s booked into the Bexar (BAYR) County Jail without bond pending an appearance before a magistrate. No attorney is listed for him in court records.

A police affidavit says the 39-year-old San Antonio man torched his gym on May 18 to escape his lease because he owed about $7,000 in back rent and other debts. The affidavit says he used a lighter to ignite a mixture of gasoline and oil inside the building.

Firefighter Scott Deem died fighting the fire, and firefighters Brad Phipps and Robert Vasquez incurred severe burns.

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