SAN ANTONIO – A homeowner was in shock after returning home to find her North Side house destroyed in a two-alarm fire.
Surrounded by neighbors trying to comfort her, Barba Sultenfuss sat in a lawn chair as the reality of what had happened sunk in. She had just seen the burnt remains of her home of 27 years for the first time.
Sultenfuss was at work when the fire sparked just before 3 p.m. Thursday.
"I couldn't believe anything like this could ever happen here," Sultenfuss said. "And from what they tell me, there is nothing left inside."
With the roof of Sultenfuss' home caved in, at one point, firefighters had concerns about a collapse. Sultenfuss said it might have been an electrical fire. It's now up to the arson team to find an answer.
Firefighters said the flames began at Sultenfuss’ home on Crystal Glade in the Eden Roc neighborhood. At the scene, Fire Chief Charles Hood said wind gusts between 20 and 22 mph most likely helped spread the fire from one home to the next.
Hood said his crews actually saved two other homes on either side.
"This potentially could've been four homes, and if you're looking at four homes, it could've been the whole block," Hood said.
The Red Cross will put up Sultenfuss' family of four overnight. She said they have insurance, but lack basic necessities, especially for her grandchildren, a 6-month-old girl and a 3-week-old boy.
Next door, the family of three lost everything that was upstairs. They are a husband, wife and 12-year-old boy.
Vaughn Taylor-Tinder lives two doors down from them. She said she is getting lists from the families and collecting physical and monetary donations.
"This is what neighbors are really for," Taylor-Tinder said.
Donations can be dropped off at Performing Arts San Antonio. The address is 15705 San Pedro Avenue and the phone number is 210-557-1187.
From the Homeowners Association:
If you would like to donate, gift cards are the easiest and most useful way to help. If you have clothing or shoes the following items are needed.
Shirts size: Large
Shoe size: 11
5/6 pants and dresses
Shoe size: 9
Middle school boy
Boys sizes: 14-16
Shoe size: 10.5
3/4T and shoe size: 8/9
Baby boy (6 months old)
Size 18-month clothes
Diapers sizes 2 and 4, wipes
Size 2 XL tops
Shoe size: 10.5
Shoe size: 8/8.5
In addition to the first address, people can donate at 16702 Coral Glade.
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