Unattended candle blamed for fire that damaged West Side duplex

2 families displaced by fire

SAN ANTONIO – A fire that heavily damaged both sides of a West Side duplex is believed to have started by an unattended candle next to a refrigerator inside one of the units.

San Antonio firefighters received a call about the fire shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday. Battalion Chief Wesley West said when they arrived in the 800 block of Rita Lane, they found fire inside both units with flames shooting from the roof.

Wesley said firefighters immediately began spraying water on it, both from a ladder truck and on the ground.

"We got here, verified everybody was out,” he said. “Then we started focusing in on the fire, which at that point had spread from the interior of the unit up into the attic. And then it involved the entire building."

West said neighbors had to help an elderly woman out of one of the units. No one was injured.

The fire caused heavy damage to both sides of the duplex.

Under daylight, it became apparent that only the front and side walls of the building remained standing. The back wall, roof and all the contents of both homes appeared to have been burned by the fire.

Firefighters estimate the damage at $100,000.

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