East Side house fire appears suspicious, arson investigators say

Home in 1700 block of Nolan Street had been vacated recently

SAN ANTONIO – A house fire early Friday on the city's East Side appears to be suspicious, arson investigators said.

The fire broke out around 3:30 a.m. at a home in the 1700 block of Nolan Street.

Tony Rodriguez, a battalion chief, said a passerby called 911 after noticing flames coming from the side of the home. Rodriguez said when the first fire units arrived, the flames had spread upward.

An aerial ladder truck was quickly brought in to attack the fire from above.

"We had some stubborn fire up in the attic. It's got a metal roof on it, so we had trouble getting to the fire up there," Rodriguez said. "I also didn't want to send firefighters up back onto the second story because of structural instability, so we can work from that ladder truck."

An initial report about two people possibly being trapped inside the home turned out not to be the case.

The family that lived in the home had recently moved out, the homeowner said.

"Speaking to the neighbor, she saw the four people that usually live here leaving the house around 9 or 10 p.m. last night," Rodriguez said.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. 

The homeowner said the home was heavily damaged and may have to be torn down.

San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward said the investigation is ongoing.

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