A fire in a Northeast side mobile home park that killed four pets is labeled as suspicious, although San Antonio arson investigators have yet to name the exact cause.
Firefighters responded to the fire at the Cozy Cove Mobile Home Park around 6:30 a.m. Thursday and found one unit in flames.
A man and woman who live in that mobile home, located in the 5200 block of Crestway, had already escaped the fire, but with only the clothes on their backs.
The man, who relatives identified as D.J. Martin, had to leave behind his dog, Shelby, and her seven puppies.
Firefighters rescued four of the puppies. Three others and the mother dog died from the smoke and fire.
"He has lost everything at this point, you know? It's kind of a sad thing,” said Tom Richards, Martin’s brother-in-law. "He loved that dog and the dog loved him. That dog went everywhere he went."
It actually was by a stroke of luck that any of the animals survived.
The only unit in the San Antonio Fire Department’s fleet that is equipped with pet oxygen masks happened to respond to the fire.
Firefighters were able to use the masks to treat some of the puppies.
Martin’s mother, Tra Coggin, said she took three of the surviving puppies to a local animal hospital.
"I hate to say this but (the animal hospital) won't even treat them free,” Coggin said through tears. “We're having to pay to take care of these little puppies, to keep them alive.”
Firefighters also had a battle on their hands when it came to putting out the fire and preventing it from spreading to other homes.
They spent precious time stretching a hose to a fire hydrant down the street, not realizing there was one right outside the home next door.
A neighbor’s parking job prevented anyone from seeing it, police said.
"Everyone missed it. No one saw the fire hydrant because of that van,” said Det. John Patino with the San Antonio Police Department.
Patino wrote the van owner a citation.
Although the closer hydrant was located on private property, Patino said he legally was able to ticket the van owner because it’s a matter of public safety.
Arson investigators were called to look for the cause of the fire.
Early on, though, firefighters at the scene said the fire appeared to be suspicious in nature.