Neighborhood cleaning up after storm

Firefighters believe lightning sparked the fire


SAN ANTONIO – A North side couple managed to escape an early morning fire that heavily damaged their home, thanks to an alert police officer.

The husband and wife were asleep when fire broke out in the roof of their two-story home in the 16200 block of Deer Crest. The home is in the Deerfield subdivision, located not far from Loop 1604 and Huebner Road.

Neighbors reported hearing what sounded like a loud clap of thunder just before 3 a.m.  Moments later, flames and smoke erupted from the roof of the home, according to Capt. Fernando Castaneda with the San Antonio Fire Dept.

"It looks like it was started by lightning," said Castaneda. "(The homeowners) didn't hear anything at all. They were alerted by a local neighborhood security firm."

An off-duty San Antonio police officer, who was working on the Deerfield subdivision's security patrol, noticed the fire and began pounding on the door of the residence, waking up the couple.

While they declined to be interviewed on camera, the husband and wife said they were grateful for Torres' actions.

Firefighters spent more than three hours, pouring water on the home.    

Still, Castaneda said, the fire caused about $200,000 in damage.

"The architectural design of the house makes a challenge for the firefighters," he said. "They knocked down the main body of the fire in about 30 minutes.  But there's hot spots, extensions and just getting to them just adds challenges."

By the time they put the fire out, it had burned away most of the roof and caused damage throughout the second floor of the home, but Castaneda said the first floor and its contents were still intact.