Santa Teresa Country Club building catches fire

Some residents suspect arson

One of the buildings at the Santa Teresa Country Club caught fire. It's just one more thing as the country club and golf course fade into disrepair.

Frustration among residents is climbing. Many are wondering if it was arson.

"I'm not familiar with any vandalism. People feel safe to leave doors unlocked. Neighbors know each other. It's a very friendly community," one resident told ABC-7.

Residents were surprised to hear about a fire on the property last week.

A viewer sent ABC-7 photos of the damage: a broken window and charred objects.

A supervisor at the country club would not comment or even confirm the incident happened.

"I have no idea what happened. I've been curious. I haven't even heard was it electrical? Was it set?" one resident said.

Multiple calls to the Santa Teresa Fire Department and the county fire marshal went unanswered.

ABC-7 has not been able to confirm the cause of the fire, but many residents said they would not be surprised if it was arson.

"That was the first thing that popped into my mind. I asked my neighbor, 'Do you think it was set?' My neighbor kind of chuckled and said, 'What are the chances of that?'" the resident said.

Tension between the residents and the country club has risen over the past few months.

Golf courses, once green, are now barren and brown. Tennis courts are full of weeds.

"We're not happy about it. We're in the middle of two golf courses and as you can see, they're not open and they're not keeping them up. It's not nice," said Carlos Fraga, a resident at the country club.

Last week a judge in Santa Fe ruled the country club could stay open despite thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes.

Residents said they still pay fees to the club owner for maintenance, but they don't see any results.

"What is he doing with the money we've been paying all of these months for water, for road maintenance, for lights, for security guards?" a resident asked.

Residents said they just want the club restored to its original beauty.

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