Fire inside abandoned nursing home believed to be arson

Building often occupied by homeless, firefighters say

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SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio fire investigators said a fire that burned inside an abandoned nursing home on the city's Northeast Side appears to be arson.

They said a police officer driving by the area early Monday noticed the flames and reported it. Firefighters then arrived on the scene, on Goldfield Drive near Rittiman Road, shortly after 3 a.m.

They said they found flames shooting through the roof in the center of the structure.  

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It took several hours for firefighters to knock it down. Afterward, they conducted a thorough search of the building to make sure no one was inside.

Firefighters said they had assisted the city in boarding up the structure just a few weeks ago. Dozens of homeless people had been living inside the abandoned building, officials said.

Although arson investigators were still looking for the exact cause, firefighters said they suspect someone may have broken into the building and started a fire to keep warm.

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