Fire damages apartment building in historic Monte Vista

Fire broke out just before 5 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO – Fire investigators are looking into what caused an old apartment complex to burst into flames Monday afternoon.

It happened at the Magnolia Arms apartment building in the 100 block of Magnolia in the Monte Vista Historic District just north of downtown.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said the fire broke out in a unit on the first floor, but spread quickly to the second floor and attic.

"It did extend up into the attic," Hood said. "So, we had to chase it. These older apartments and homes, (it's) a lot of manual labor because they are built so doggone good so, the fire travels and we're just trying to chase it and figure it out."

Hood said they initially responded with a large number of units because Magnolia Arms is an old apartment complex, but he said they also had a large response because of the heat.

"The reason we called a second alarm is because of the intense heat," said Hood. "As far as rehabbing our firefighters, making sure that we can replenish their fluids and take care of them because we have a long shift to work."

Trevor Chauvin, who lives at the Magnolia Arms, said he was terrified to find his apartment building on fire.

"I was coming home from work and she said I had to park down way at the other end and she said there was a fire," Chauvin said. "So, I was walking down here and low and behold, it was my apartment."

Fire crews managed to get dozens of pets out of the building, including Chauvin's cat, Nessarose.

"(I'm) so relieved," said Chauvin. "She's a little crazy right now, but I think she'll calm down, so relieved, thank goodness."

As of Monday afternoon, Hood estimated that six of the apartment's 12 units were damaged, but everyone made it out OK.

The owner said efforts were being made to make sure all the residents have a place to stay.

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