Red Cross helps victims of Monday's fires

36 apar­tments, 5 houses burn in separate wind­-fueled fires

San Antonio Red Cross volunteers have been busy after 36 apartment units and five houses were destroyed in two big fires earlier this week.

On Monday, 36 apartment units were destroyed and about a dozen more sustained smoke and water damage after a massive fire at the Wood Hollow Apartments in the 10300 block of Sahara.

Every resident affected is being helped by the Red Cross.

"It's at that time when you realize exactly what the Red Cross does," said Rafael Aviles, San Antonio Red Cross regional communications manager. "We are not here just in times for the big disasters. We're here for the fires and for the people who have disasters here at home as well."

Robert Herrera is one of the dozens of residents displaced by Monday's fire at Wood Hollow.

He said as he drove home Monday, he saw flames coming from his apartment complex.

"I was coming from work actually and I was hoping it wasn't my apartment," said Herrera. "And, as I was getting closer, I saw all the smoke."

Herrera said luckily, his wife and two daughters were OK, but his apartment was damaged so badly that they could not go back home.

That's when he said the Red Cross stepped in.

"They brought my daughters teddy bears," he said. "They comforted them a lot. The guy even grabbed my daughter out of my hands and said, 'I'll take care of her. I got her.' They are very, very helpful. I'm glad they were here. They are angels and I just want to thank them."

Just this week alone, Aviles said they've had about 17 groups responding to five fires, which included a number of homes that went up in flames in the 8100 block of old Pearsall Road.

Overall, Aviles said they are assisting more than a hundred adults and 30 children.

So far, the Red Cross has spent $24,767 in expenses and hotel stays.

If you'd like to help out , the Red Cross is accepting donations online at


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