An electrical problem may be what caused a fire on Marcum Drive that left a dozen people without a home for Thanksgiving, according to the San Antonio Fire Department.
Firefighters were called to the scene in the 6500 block of Marcum Drive around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday and found flames shooting from one side of the home, said Battalion Chief Mark Black.
Despite their efforts, though, there was little firefighters could do to save it.
“The interior's a complete loss. It's floor-to-ceiling,” Black said. “Everything's burned -- all their belongings, walls -- everything. It's all gone.”
People inside the home had tried to attack the fire on their own before firefighters arrived. Some grabbed hoses, hoping to put out what, at first, was a small fire discovered in a bedroom behind a dresser.
“They saw smoke coming out again from the ceiling. And they just started getting cups of water, trying to turn it off," said Samuel Galvan, who lived in the home which was owned by his parents.
"A piece of ceiling fell and burned my brother's right hand and part of his back,” he said.
Galvan said his brother’s burns were minor and did not require hospitalization.
In all, seven people escaped the fire. Five others who live in a one-room home behind the house that burned also evacuated as a precaution. However, they said their home had no plumbing, and their only bathroom and kitchen were in the home that burned.
"My grandpa's in shock right now. That house was, basically, what he worked his whole life for," said Danielle Garza.
Her cousin, Connie Galvan, agreed, saying she wasn’t sure what her family will do now.
"Both of our parents grew up in that house. We grew up in that house. It's all gone,” Connie Galvan said. "I’m worried about my grandma. She's diabetic and she needs her pills. She lost everything."
Family members said the fire has left eight children, who range in age from 2 to 17, in desperate need of the very basics –food, clothing and shelter.
But Samuel Galvan said even with all the loss, he does see a bright spot — everyone is safe. Firefighters said they credit that fact to a stroke of good fortune because the home had no smoke detectors.
“Luckily somebody was awake, smelled smoke and they got out. Otherwise this would've been really bad," Black said.