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Friends mourn man killed in West Side fire

Man's death latest fire fatality in San Antonio

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SAN ANTONIO – There have been three fatal fires in the Alamo City this year.

The latest one happened Monday in the 2100 block of Bronte Street, on the city's West Side. Augustine Trevino, 52, was killed by smoke inhalation. 

San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Christian Bove said burglar bars on the front door of his home may have hindered firefighters from getting into the home quickly.

"People don't realize if you have burglar bars on your home, and you don't have an emergency release, you essentially could be trapped inside that home where that fire is," said Bove.

Family friend Lisa Mercado said she is devastated by Trevino's death.

"He loved his animals and he loved his family, his friends and family," Mercado said.

Mercado said he was like a big brother to her.

"Mother's Day, he texted me and wished me a Happy Mother's Day, so he never forgot. We're friends. We're true friends," Mercado said.

Arson investigators ruled the fire was caused by an electrical short in the house. Neighbors said they tried to rescue him, but they were overcome by smoke.

Fire officials said the fire caused about $15,000 worth of structure damage and another $10,000 worth of damage inside the home.  They added that so much stuff was inside the home, firefighters weren't able to locate Trevino right away.

"The individual did appear to have a bit of stuff inside his home that did seem a little problematic for firefighters to get to the victim and get him out of the house," said Bove.

And for close friends like Mercado, his death is a tough one to bear.

"He was loved by a lot of people because he was a good guy (and) did a lot. They don't make them like that anymore," Mercado said.

San Antonio Fire Department officials encourage people who do have burglar bars on their doors or windows to have an emergency release on them, and to have an escape route in place in case a fire breaks out.