SAN ANTONIO -

Arson is suspected in two fires on the East Side, and San Antonio firefighters think the fires could be connected to other suspicious blazes in the area.

A vacant home in the 200 block of Cooper Street went up in flames late Tuesday night.

east side fires map

Residents in the area reported hearing several loud noises coming from the house before they saw smoke and fire.

San Antonio fire crews responded and put out the blaze, but had to battle high winds.

Damage at the home is estimated at $35,000. No one was injured, fire officials said.

Firefighters battle other blaze

A short time later, firefighters responded to another fire at a nearby building in the 500 block of Meerscheidt Street.

Firefighters said there was a dangerous situation when they arrived. All of the gases inside the building went up in flames at once.

"All of a sudden, the entire contents lit up. It's called a flashover. Everything inside the building just lights up at one time," said San Antonio fire Captain Gabriel Ortega.

Firefighters believe that fire was intentionally set in more than one place.

No injuries were reported and damages in that fire were estimated at $30,000.

Arson also blamed in fires last week

Just last week, another vacant home in the area went up in flames on South Pine and Fredonia. Fire officials determined it was arson.

The arson unit is investigating a possible link between all the fires in the area.

Ortega said, he doesn't think it's a coincidence.

"People are doing this intentionally, maybe with thoughts in mind of getting rid of crack dens or getting rid of prostitution houses but they're putting our lives at risk too," Ortega said. "The neighbors next door are innocent but their houses are in danger too."

On Wednesday afternoon, the San Antonio Fire Department released this statement in response to the recent suspicious fires.

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