Northeast San Antonio apartment fire injures 5, displaces 22

2 apartment units destroyed at Oakstone Apar­tments; Cause of fire unknown

Five people were hurt and more than 20 others displaced after a fire ripped through a northeast San Antonio apartment complex early Tuesday morning.

San Antonio firefighters responded to the blaze just before 2 a.m. at the Oakstone Apartments in the 2600 block of Northeast Loop 410.

Fire officials said flames spread so fast that a couple nearly became trapped when they ran to the balcony for fresh air.

"It was just a little flame, but it didn't take long for it to go up and then around the doorway and then on the balcony," Carmen Richards said. "Then, we had to run through the fire to go back through the apartment that was just pitch dark, because it was full of smoke."

Richards and her husband, Mark, ran back through the smoke to get to windows in the dining room where San Antonio firefighters helped them down with a ladder.

Mark Richards suffered second degree burns. Carmen Richards said his arms were burned as he held them up to shield her from the flames. He was taken to the hospital and four other people were treated at the scene by EMS.

"All fire moves very fast. It is very surprising to people. It doesn't grow slowly. It really takes off almost exponentially," said Neal Ague, Battalion Chief for the San Antonio fire department.

The man and woman then ran back through the smoke to get to the windows and were assisted by San Antonio firefighters.

The man suffered second degree burns. He was taken to the hospital and four other people were treated at the scene by EMS.

Crews put out the fire after about 30 minutes, but two apartment units were considered to be destroyed.

A total of 22 people were displaced and being assisted by Red Cross. Arson investigators were called to the scene to determine the cause.

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Oakstone apt fire slide


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