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Gas leak sparks massive fire in Universal City

Homeowner says dog, birds killed, 6 classic cars destroyed in fire

SAN ANTONIO - A gas leak in a water heater caused a massive fire in Universal City that destroyed a home and damaged another early Friday morning.

Flames broke out around 1 a.m. at a home in the 400 block of Wagon Crossing.  

The homeowner said he heard a loud bang like someone had dropped something, and moments later his home was consumed by flames. He got out safe, but could not save his dog and two birds.

The homeowner said he was concerned with the amount of time it took firefighters to get to his home. The homeowner's son said he beat all but one fire crew to the scene.

"It did look like there was one crew working on putting out the fire, but at that point the fire had already spread to the neighbor's house, and my dad's house was pretty much up in flames at that point," said Billy Mondragon.

Fire Marshal John Hatzel said it is standard procedure for Universal City to send one fire truck with four firefighters.

"We're limited with only six guys on duty. We called mutual aid once they got here, so again it takes them time to get here," Hatzel said.

The homeowner also had six classic cars that were destroyed in the fire. Hatzel said gasoline from the cars fueled the fire.

Fire crews from Universal City, Converse, Live Oak, Cibolo, Windcrest and an Air Force crew all combined to extinguish the fire. No injuries were reported.

A slideshow is embedded here.

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