2-alarm fire breaks out at Medical Center cond­ominium complex

SAFD takes defensive stance while battling fire at Castlewood Condos

One resident and one firefighter were injured after a massive two-alarm fire broke out at a northwest side condo complex.

The fire broke out just after 2 p.m. at the Castlewood Condos, located in the 4100 block of Medical Drive.

A total of 39 units -- comprised of more than 100 firefighters -- were battling the blaze, but they were pulled off to take a defensive stance after an hour-long struggle against the flames.

A San Antonio Fire Department spokesman said once crews got to the scene, they were told a man was trapped on a third-floor balcony. The man had a medical condition and crews struggled to get him to the ground. They were able to get him to down safely. He was taken to Methodist Hospital for treatment.

The firefighter was injured when he slipped down a ladder, falling 20 feet to the ground below. He was taken to University Hospital in serious condition.

Only one building in the complex -- Building A -- was affected. With the third floor just about completely gone, the second and first floors likely a total loss as well due to smoke and water damage. More than two dozen units at the complex were affected by the fire.

The condo complex in the middle of a heavily residential part of Medical Drive. Residents who live there were evacuated about 100 yards away, where they stood and watched the fire burn.

Fire crews had to close off Medical Drive in order to combat the fire, causing a traffic nightmare for the people who live and work in the Medical Center areal.

San Antonio Chief Hood says most of the residents were not home at the time and that because the building was isolated, they did not have to evacuate any other units.

"They did have a civilian that was trapped up on the balcony and unable to get off," Hood said. "So the immediate call was for a ladder to rescue that person. So we did put the ladder up, effectively got him down during the firefight, but as we were brining him down, a firefighter slipped and fell off of the ladder."

There has been no damage estimate yet, but fire officials say the third floor is a total loss.

Fire officials have not announced a cause for what started the fire.

In 2007, firefighters battled an enormous three-alarm fire at the same condos. An electrical problem was ultimately blamed on that blaze.

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