Heavy flames and thick black smoke poured from a building at the Wood Hollow apartments on the 10000 block of Sahara around 5:30 Monday evening.
A total of 39 fire units responded to the 3-alarm fire near Highway 281 and Isom Road.
The residents who live at the complex could do nothing but stand and watch.
“We’re having another baby,” said Crystal Shold, as she sobbed. “I just bought a whole bunch of stuff and put it all together. And now it’s all gone. And our dog was in there and our dog is gone."
“If there is vision of hell, this is probably close to it,” said Karen Reincke, whose apartment was also lost in the fire.
San Antonio Fire Department spokesperson Christian Bove says the fire started on an apartment balcony and all 16 units of that building were destroyed.
A second building was evacuated but did not catch fire. Many neighbors who were home at the time got each other out of harm’s way.
“All of the sudden, there was a loud banging,” said Reincke. “I don’t know who it was banging, but thank God they did.”
“We took off running,” said Jeanette Lytle. “I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast, we've ever run that fast, in our lives.”
The plume of black smoke could be seen from miles away as Monday’s high winds pushed the smoke away from the building.
The wind was a challenge for firefighters. "Because the buildings are so close together, one of the biggest problems is keeping the flames from spreading to other buildings and that problem is magnified when you have days like today- a red flag warning day,” said Bove.
No one was hurt in the fire, but many felt the pain of watching all that’s theirs go up in smoke.
“Everything we had was in there, everything we own,” said Shold.
“I’m telling everybody 'hey, you made it out. You’re alive. You're going to wake up and see tomorrow,’” said Lytle. “And that's what matters."
Arson investigators were called to the scene of the fire to investigate the cause. The Red Cross is assisting those displaced.