Fire damages 5 buildings in South Side neighborhood

2-Alarm fire on West Lubbock Street undetermined

Author: Katrina Webber, Reporter,
Published On: Dec 31 2012 07:48:12 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 31 2012 07:45:22 AM CST

Arson investigators were trying to determine what caused a fire that damaged three homes and as many as three sheds in a near South side neighborhood Monday morning.

When firefighters arrived on West Lubbock Street near Interstate 35 and Highway 90 at 6 a.m., they found one home on fire and flames spreading to two adjacent homes and two or three backyard sheds.

"The homes are relatively close together," said Capt. David Tedford of the San Antonio Fire Department. "In a large fire, radiant heat travels. The fire will travel pretty easily. We also have some vehicles that are involved that helped to spread the fire in between the homes."

Tedford said extra units were called in to help put out the blaze. He said it appeared that whomever lives in the homes either got out on their own or were not home at the time.

Still, firefighters crawled through the ruins on their knees, searching for any people who might have been trapped inside. The efforts went a long way toward helping Ernest Gonzalez, who lives across the street, feel a bit of relief.

"My worry was the occupants, the people in the home," Gonzalez said. "There's an elderly couple that live in the house on the corner."

Gonzalez said he woke up to the sound of about five explosions which he assumed, at first, might be fireworks. Soon he realized, though, how wrong he was.

"I thought it was in our backyard. I looked outside to our back window and it was a big orange ball of fire," Gonzalez said.

Firefighters used a ladder truck to attack the fire from above while firefighters on the ground also sprayed it with hoses.

As of 11 a.m., a handful of firefighters remained at the scene to ensure that the flames did not spark up again.

Arson investigators also were there, sifting through the ruins in search of the cause of the fire. They said, upon initial investigation, it did not appear to be suspicious.

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