Arson suspected in tire shop fire in west San Antonio

SAFD: Neighbors saw someone run from shop on West Commerce before flames broke out

Fire officials believe a fire that damaged a west San Antonio tire shop was intentionally set early Friday morning.

The blaze broke out just before 2 a.m. at the shop in the 5000 block West Commerce.

"It was fully involved. I mean, fire was blowing out of the roof about 30 feet into the air," Mark Black, battalion chief for the San Antonio Fire Department, said.

Fire crews attacked the blaze and extinguished it quickly. They believe the fire started behind the shop in a fenced area full of tires.

"Tires. It's nasty smoke. We had hazmat out here earlier to do water and air sampling. Basically, if it's a tire fire, it's a hazardous materials incident until you get it knocked down," Black said.

Hazmat crews checked the quality of air and water at the scene and determined that everything was normal.

A neighbor told firefighters somebody ran away from the shop just before the fire started. The shop owner also said there is a history of recent attempted break-ins.

Another neighbor said someone recently threatened to burn down the shop.

"We know he set it on purpose. He had already threatened to do it if they pressed charges. They had already caught him stealing tires from back there, and they threatened to burn the place down if the owner pressed charges," Mark Flores, who lives next door to the shop, said.

Fire crews called for a second alarm to prevent the blaze from spreading. They were concerned about neighboring buildings, but managed to contain the blaze.

Fire officials said nearby buildings had some water damage as a result of the fire.

No injuries were reported. Damage estimates have not been released.

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