Man arrested for Garland apartment arson was targeting relative, officials say

The man arrested for allegedly torching a Garland apartment building on Sunday was going after a relative, authorities said.

Abdulsatar Abdulrahman, 29, was arrested late Sunday on a felony arson charge for allegedly intentionally starting the fire inside the relative’s residence at the Saturn Square Apartments on Sunday morning.

The Garland Fire Marshal said it’s clear that an accelerant was used because of how quickly the fire spread. Abulrahman can be seen in surveillance video getting into a car seconds after the explosion. The shadow of the smoke can be seen already billowing from the building.

Abdulrahman was identified by the relative whose apartment he allegedly blew up.

“Once we showed him the video he was able to immediately identify the suspect as his cousin. Still he's not sure why he did it,” said Mike Vanbuskirk, Garland Fire Marshal. “He said they worked together and didn’t think there was any issues with them.”

Abdulrahman has a criminal past. Public records show arrests for criminal trespassing, evading arrest and discharge of a firearm.

Nicco Turner was walking to a convenience store just down the street the apartments when he heard a loud boom coming from one of the buildings and flames quickly followed.

“It spread real fast. It spread to the top of the floor real fast in a matter of seconds,” Turner said.

Moments after Abdulrahman drove away from the complex, the surveillance video shows a man run towards the burning building -- that's Turner.

“I just ran back to my breezeway and came around and knocked on everybody's door,” Turner said. “I would just want someone to do it for my family too. I knew there was families over there, I see them over there.

Thanks to Turner, everyone evacuated before the raging fire consumed all eight units in the building.

“One of the areas on the floor was burned through,” Vanbuskirk said. “If you pour an accelerant on the floor and light it that will cause it to burn through the floor.”

Turner is grateful no one was hurt.

The Red Cross is providing assistance and housing for those families who lost their homes.