North Side apartment fire displaces 10 families, leaves 4 dogs dead

February 16, 2019 GMT

A fire that started in the wall of an North Side apartment building Friday afternoon left 10 families without homes and four dogs dead, officials said.

San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood said they received the call at 3:06 p.m. in the Oasis at Oakwell apartments, 1946 NE Interstate 410 Loop.

When firefighters arrived, they found a resident who led them through a smokey haze to a fire that was in the back of her oven, according to the chief.

Firefighters determined the fire was in the wall and began working to stop its spread.

“That forced us to chase this fire, which quickly was up in the attic,” Hood said.


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The building was evacuated and a second alarm was called to get firefighters into the attic.

Hood said one side of the attic was easier to reach than the other, which made it difficult to stop the flames.

“We chased fire from apartment to apartment,” Hood said.

A fire captain suffered a laceration to his head during the incident, the chief said. He is expected to be OK.

“One of the main challenges to this fire is that it’s 85 degrees today,” Hood said. “Last week I was standing in the sleet and today we’re standing here in temperatures that are really difficult for firefighters, so we needed the extra manpower.”

Overall, 160 firefighters combatted the fire, the bulk of which was extinguished in about an hour.

In the end, 12 apartments were damaged to the point of being uninhabitable, firefighters said.

The damage left 15 adults and 5 children, the youngest being an infant, without a home, Hood said.

Four dogs died in the blaze, firefighters said. A few other animals were rescued while others are still missing, Hood said.

Animal Care Services was called to help care for the animals and search for those still missing.

Firefighters were taking apart the attic with axes, chainsaws and other tools to extinguish any remaining embers.

The Red Cross is helping residents find temporary lodging if they can’t find another apartment in the complex and with supplies, officials said.

Jacob Beltran is a reporter covering San Antonio and Bexar County. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | | Twitter: