Following fmr. lawmaker's mansion fire, investigators rule out 'natural causes' | KOB 4
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Following fmr. lawmaker's mansion fire, investigators rule out 'natural causes'

Kai Porter
September 13, 2018 06:12 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Bernalillo County firefighters have not determined what caused former state senator, Manny Aragon's, South Valley mansion to catch fire.

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However, investigators have ruled out natural causes, such as lightning.

"Our fire marshals are here on scene. They're analyzing, evaluating and trying to determine what happened," said BCFD Lieutenant David Lujan.

The house, which resembled a castle, has been ruled a total loss.

Aragon did not live at the home, which his family said was never completed. They said Aragon lived in another house on the property.

"That home is a very special home to him. That home has been in the works for 30 years," said Aragon's brother, Richard Aragon.

He said "Manny's Castle," as they called it, was used for family events, such as weddings, reunions, and parties.

"It was a very beautiful work of art that we were hopefully going to use to make it into an entertainment center for people to use as a venue for events. That is a travesty and can no longer happen," Richard said.

After word of the fire spread, so did news of Manny Aragon's past troubles. 

He was convicted of defrauding the state out of more than $4 million during the construction of Bernalillo County Metro Court. 

He served more than 4 years in prison.

Richard Aragon knows his brother's past, but said he should also be remembered for the many contributions he made during his three decades as a state lawmaker.

"He was the voice for the people. He was the one who was there to speak on behalf of the ones that couldn't and I felt like now it's his time. Now it's his time for me to speak up and for them to stop crucifying him, every time he comes on the news and reminding everyone of what he did," Richard said.

The house was not insured and likely won't be rebuilt, according to Richard.

"It's sad to know that it's gone, and all that's standing is a shell now, kind of representing him. He was once something and now he's not, so it's kind of ironic."

Credits

Kai Porter

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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