Abandoned building that caught fire site of ongoing trouble, firefighters say

Firefighters boarded up building in 4700 block of Goldfield Drive 2 weeks ago

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SAN ANTONIO – An abandoned building on the Northeast Side that went up in flames early Monday morning has been the site of ongoing trouble, according to the San Antonio Fire Department.

SAFD Capt. John Flores said the vacant nursing home in the 4700 block of Goldfield Drive often attracts transients who camp out there.

"It's been an ongoing effort to secure the structure," he said. "It seems to be secured, and then someone opens up what we secured."

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Flores and some other firefighters helped to board up the building about two weeks ago.

But they were back Monday morning, battling a type of situation they feared might happened.

Shortly after 3 a.m., a police officer passing by noticed flames coming from the roof.   

Firefighters had to use an aerial ladder truck to get above the fire. They spent hours pouring water down on it.

Because of the unusual layout of the building and the possibility of a roof collapse, firefighters limited most of their attack to the outside.

"Of course, our chief, safety first being our issue, didn't want to send anyone in," Flores said.

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Some sections of the roof did end up giving out under the weight of water and heavy air-conditioning units on it. No one was hurt.

"There's been no power to the building for, I believe, four months. There's no water, electricity, gas, anything in there that's operable," Flores said, speculating that someone had to have started the fire.

Arson investigators were called in to find a cause.

After firefighters knocked down the fire, they searched the building and didn't find anyone inside.

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