Records: Management told about faulty outlet hours before 2-alarm fire

Fire at Oak Springs Apartments in September caused $1.15 million in damage

SAN ANTONIO – Records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders confirm that management at a Northeast Side apartment complex was warned about a faulty electrical outlet hours before a 2-alarm fire.

The Sept. 26 fire caused significant damage to Building 6 of the Oak Springs Apartments in the 3900 block of Perrin Central Boulevard.

San Antonio Fire Department records provided to The Defenders indicate that the fire's point of origin was narrowed down to an outlet in Unit 610.

The fire took hold in the framing of the wall and spread, according to an SAFD incident report.

The report said the massive blaze caused $1.15 million in property and content damage.

Email records provided by the tenant of Unit 610 showed that the outlet was one of two in the apartment reported to Oak Springs management the morning of the fire.

The email indicates management opened a work order to fix the outlets at 11:49 a.m., more than two hours before the fire started.

It's not clear whether maintenance staff made an attempt to fix the outlet in question.

The manager on site said she was not allowed to discuss the incident.

She referred questions by the Defenders to an apartment management company, which has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

"It's sad, because, you know, at our age, it's hard to start over," said Delores Davis, 69, who had recently moved into Building 6 when the fire started.

Davis said firefighters were able to save a few of her photo albums and her pots and pans, but her remaining possessions are still inside the apartment.

Davis, who said her apartment suffered mostly smoke and water damage, was one of several Oak Springs residents that told The Defenders they are concerned that undamaged personal belongings inside the burned building will be stolen.

The building was surrounded by a chain-link fence covered with a tarp when The Defenders visited the property earlier this month.

Davis, who was forced to move into a nearby apartment, said management refuses to let tenants visit their apartments to see if any more possession are salvageable.

"Somebody in the office dropped the ball and didn't do anything about it when it was turned in," Davis said.

Even though the outlet in question was reported to management prior to the fire, the Texas Attorney General's Office considers seven days the reasonable amount of time for a landlord or complex to begin making repairs.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.