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Home was set for demolition before catching fire third time

SAFD requests home be torn down after responding to third fire in 7 months

SAN ANTONIO – A vacant house just west of downtown was set to be demolished long before the San Antonio Fire Department asked the city to tear it down.

The house at 639 Ruiz Street caught fire Dec. 6, which spread to a neighboring restaurant.

Months later, the house caught fire on July 4 and again on July 5.

Code Enforcement officers inspected the home following the December fire and recommended the house be demolished and the city's Building Standards Board agreed during a hearing on April 2.

The owner, listed in Bexar Appraisal District records as Armando Gamboa, Sr., was given until May 21 to comply and then agreed to the demolition.

According to the city's Development Services, the contract for the home's demolition was finalized last week because it took several weeks to prepare the work orders and have the city's legal department approve the plan.

SAFD spokesman Christian Bove said Monday the official causes of all three fires at the home will remain undetermined, but SAFD requested the home be torn down because it is no longer structurally sound.

CPS Energy shut off power to the house Monday afternoon -- a move Development Services spokesperson Ximena-Copa Wiggins said the department was waiting on before it could move ahead with demolition.

No firm date for the destruction had been set by Monday afternoon.

The homeowner will be billed the $5,700 the demolition is estimated to cost.


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