Space heater blamed for West Side home fire

11 family members left homeless

SAN ANTONIO – Items left too close to a space heater may be what caused a West Side house fire that has left 11 members of a family homeless, according to San Antonio firefighters.

They responded to the call around 8 a.m. Friday and found the home in the 3000 block of Monterey Street engulfed in flames.

"This is about a 1,000-square-foot house. It's all wood on the interior. The walls are wood. The ceilings are wood. The floors are wood,” Battalion Chief Mark Black said.

He said there wasn’t much they could do to save the home. However, 11 members of an extended family, including seven children, all made it out safely.

"First things first, you see fire, you get everybody out, you know?,” said John Mariscal, who lived in the home. “I went to get the fire extinguisher to stop it and I couldn't. It was too big already."

Mariscal said his newborn daughter had just come home for the first time Thursday night.

"My sister-in-law bought her everything. Nothing no more, you know? I lost clothes. Her baby clothes too," he said.

Six other children between the ages of 2 and 7 lived in the home, along with four adults, Mariscal said.

Firefighters called in the American Red Cross to assist the family. They said what is left of the home may have to be torn down.

The house, which was built decades ago, did not have smoke detectors, according to firefighters.

“It’s a good thing it happened now instead of overnight (when everyone would’ve been asleep),” Black said. “Otherwise, it might’ve been really bad.”

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