3-alarm fire destroys North side motel

100 firefighters battle massive blaze

Published On: Apr 20 2012 05:07:11 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 21 2012 08:38:25 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

The San Antonio Fire Department estimated a fire that gutted most of a motel Friday cost $1 million worth of damage.

The cause of the fire at the Motel 6 Extended Stay off Highway 281 South and the Rhapsody intersection is still under investigation Saturday, fire officials said.

The fire spread from the second to third floors of the hotel and billowing flames could be seen erupting from the roof, causing it to collapse on top of several firefighters.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said no one was injured. He said more than 80 motel occupants were evacuated and 100 firefighters were on the scene battling the flames.

Winds in excess of 25 miles per hour spurred the spread of the fire, making it difficult for firefighters to combat the flames.

Saturday, people were gathering what belongings, if any, they could save from the devastation.

George and Elaine McLeod had just moved from the building that burned into another wing that was spared. They kept hearing something that played out on fire scanners Friday, that there was very little water pressure to fight the fire.

"I was like, it was too fast. There was no way that took off so fast, if water would have been on it, it would not have been that fast," Elaine McLeod said. "Everybody could see that. So we thought there was no water but there were 200 firemen."

The couple had been through fires before and credits the firefighters for their tremendous work. They said they are thankful everyone is okay, and said the whole thing could have turned out a lot worse.

"So we've been through this before, so to have it happen again, just the smell of it brings back too many bad memories," George McLeod said. "Just seeing where you live burning is very traumatic. Very, very traumatic."

One of the motel's residents told KSAT 12 that a man who was staying next door actually saw flames shooting out of a maintenance room on the corner of a building wing. The man then pulled the fire alarm, notified managers and began banging on doors to warn people of the fire.

Residents said the motel is relocating people and the Red Cross is providing people with gift cards for food and clothing.

A three-alarm fire at a North side motel ripped through the roof of one of the buildings, destroying it entirely.

The fire broke out late Friday afternoon at the Studio 6 Extended Stay, located in the 11200 block of Highway 281 South, near the Rhapsody intersection.

The fire spread from the second to third floors of the hotel and billowing flames could be seen erupting from the roof, causing it to collapse on top of several firefighters.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said no one was injured. He said more than 80 motel occupants were evacuated and 100 firefighters were on the scene battling the flames.

Winds in excess of 25 mph spurred the spread of the fire, making it difficult for firefighters to combat the flames.

IMAGES: Massive fire at North side hotel

The Southbound access road on Highway 281 has been shut down so fire trucks can gain access to the fire. Southbound traffic on Highway 281 has come to a near standstill as thick, black smoke poured over the highway.

Hood said he expects a long night ahead of firefighters as they continue to work to contain the flames and monitor damage.