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SAFD: Man spent time calling 911 before father escaped fire

Father, 85, suffers smoke inhalation

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SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio firefighters issued a safety reminder in the wake of a house fire early Monday morning that left an 85-year-old man critically injured from smoke inhalation.

"It's very important that if this happens to you, you get your loved ones and you get out as quick as you can," said San Antonio Fire Department District Fire Chief Kevin Crusius. 

Crusius said mere seconds allowed a fire and the risk of it to grow.

The elderly man and his son were asleep around 4 a.m. when fire broke out inside their home in the 700 block of West Winnipeg.

The home was equipped with smoke detectors that alerted the son to the fire, Crusius said. However, what happened next appears to have left his father in a dangerous situation.

"He went to tell his father that he smelled the smoke and that he was going to call 911," Crusius said.  "After he called 911 and came back, the smoke was significantly increased and he was not able to get to his father any longer."

While firefighters regularly deal with injuries and death during the course of their jobs, Crusius said the elderly man's injuries hit him hard. 

Crusius said the man had no pulse when firefighters first pulled him from the home.  Later, paramedics were able to revive him, according to Christian Bove, a SAFD spokesman.

The man's son made it out of the home safely.

Some neighbors said they also were told to leave their homes during the height of the firefighting efforts.

Arson investigators are still looking into a cause of the fire.


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