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Bexar DA to review Wedgwood fire investigation

State Rep. files legislation to require sprinkler systems

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County District Attorney will review the findings of the Bexar County Fire Marshal into the Wedgwood apartment fire to determine whether anything criminal took place.

The fire claimed the lives of five residents at the senior living apartments in Castle Hills on Dec. 28.

The cause remains undetermined. Arson is not suspected, according to Fire Marshal Chris Lopez.

The fire marshal's office continues to investigate how the fire contributed to the deaths of those victims and injuries of more than a dozen other residents.

Lopez said his office will share its findings with the DA, which he says is standard when investigating a fire of this magnitude.

"In any case that we have, we want to make sure that if there's any criminal potential within a case - we want to make sure that is something that should or needs to be pursued," Lopez said.

Meanwhile, State Rep. Rick Galindo, R-District 117, filed House Bill 3089 Wednesday to require sprinklers in all high-rise residential buildings.

The bill defines a high-rise as a building reaching 75 feet above the ground or higher.

The Wedwgood did not have a sprinkler system because it was grandfathered in after the City of Castle Hills began requiring sprinklers in 2012.

"You know, I've seen tragedies that occur in our own backyard like Wedgwood," Galindo said. "I'm very convinced - we're all very convinced- that sprinklers are the only significant safety measures that can improve the survivability of seniors in these buildings."

Galindo says he has held discussions with San Antonio city leaders about the importance of sprinklers.

The proposed bill would require all existing high-rise residential buildings without sprinklers be retrofitted to include them by September of 2021.


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