Fire destroys home of Sutherland Springs victim's relative

Cigarette blamed for fire in 1200 block of Colzona Road

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man whose son was wounded in the Sutherland Springs church shooting lost his home in a fire Wednesday morning.

"(It's) been a hell of a week," said Hank Summers, who moved into his grandfather's home two days ago to be closer to an uncle, who is recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center from gunshot wounds he suffered in the mass shooting.

The fire was reported around 3 a.m. in the 1200 block of Colzona Road on the city's East Side.

Firefighters thought they had extinguished the fire, but 15 minutes after they left, it reignited into a huge ball of fire. Moments later, ammunition exploded inside the single-story home, forcing KSAT 12 News photographer Azian Bermea and reporter Josh Skurnik to move from their original location.

Firefighters calmly approached the wall of flames, and in a matter of minutes, were battling the blaze.

San Antonio Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Reuthinger already knew the original cause of the fire.

"Started by a cigarette in the bathroom," he said.

Summers lost irreplaceable pictures and his grandfather lost everything in the blaze.
Their family lived in La Vernia for almost three decades, with Summers growing up three miles from First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, where the family attended services in the mid-'90s.

"Besides from my uncle being shot up, I have a good friend of mine (I) went to high school with, also shot. I knew many people that were killed. It's been brutal," Summers said.

But he said their home and belongings are replaceable.

"Pray for my friends. Pray for the community of Sutherland Springs. Don't worry about us," Summers said.

About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.