SAFD: Arson not suspected in massive Castlewood Condos fire

Building to be torn down

Slowly but surely, residents of a burned-out northwest side condo complex are going to start coming home, and seeing what -- if anything -- is left inside they might be able to salvage.

Jerico Riojas is one those residents, after his first-floor condo sustained so much smoke and water damage, it is now unlivable.

“It’s kind of overwhelming,” said Riojas. “I mean, everything we own is inside there. The memories, the photographs, it’s just all gone now.”

Riojas has not yet been allowed inside the destruction, and might not be anytime soon. Firefighters said the building is extremely unstable, and is in danger of collapsing.

“We’ve actually requested an emergency demolition from the city, and expect it to be torn down in the next couple of days,” said San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood.

The fire broke out around 1:45 p.m. on Thursday at the Castlewood Condos, located in the 4100 block of Medical Drive.

One resident and one firefighter were injured after the massive two-alarm fire broke out, destroying the entire third floor of the building.

And with all the smoke and water damage, the first and second floors are likely a total loss as well.

Firefighters have not said what caused the fire, but said they do not believe it was suspicious.

“It might be a while before we get any concrete answers, though, because of all the damage,” said Hood, speaking about the investigation.

On Friday morning, a perimeter fence was set up and disaster cleanup companies have begun to set up to begin the lengthy process of salvaging what they can.

Until they're done, and until the building is deemed safe enough to walk into, there's not much residents can do.

Fire officials have not announced a cause for what started the fire. Arson investigators were called to the scene to help make a determination.

A total of 27 units were lost, but it is not known exactly how many people have been displaced by the devastating fire.

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