Brothers escape West side house fire

Vincent, Alex Castro wake to smoke, flames in house on Cordelia Street

SAN ANTONIO - Two brothers escaped out the back of their West side home in the 400 block of Cordelia Street as a fast-moving fire blocked their way out the front.

The flames broke out in the home near Commerce and General McMullen just before 8 a.m., San Antonio fire investigators said.

Neighbor Janie Molina saw the fire and went to help.

"I saw just the flames coming out of the window from the side and I just went in and started knocking on the door," Molina said.

Vincent Castro was already awake, but said he was in the back of the house and had no idea his home was burning.

"My neighbor told me there was smoke coming out from the window and I went inside and I saw fire already started," he said.

There was too much smoke for Vincent to get to his brother Alex, who was still asleep, so he called him, and Alex awoke to a house full of fire.

"Smoke. That's it. Smoke. The flames were in the front. I was in the back. I just ran out," Alex Castro said.

The brothers made it as far as the backyard, but the smoke was so heavy that they were stuck there until fire fighters arrived.

"They couldn't come out of the front, because fire was blowing out of the front door, and the entire overhead of the front of the house was fully involved, so they couldn't get out except through the back," San Antonio Fire Battalion Chief Mark Black said.

Firefighters also searched the house next door. The fire got such a big head start that the flames had already spread to a second house before firefighters could even try to put out the fire at the Castros' house.

The second home was not badly damaged, but fire destroyed much of the front of the Castros' house. The brothers said the home had belonged to their parents, and they had lived there since childhood.



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