Home surveillance video shows start of 2-alarm fire, neighbors' rush to help

Neighbor tried to put out fire with garden hose

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SAN ANTONIO – As Randy Goss watched TV in his garage, the unblinking eye of his security camera caught the smoke and fire growing at the side of a house across the street.

"I didn't notice it until I heard the 'pop'," Goss said.

But once Goss realized what was happening, he rushed over.

"I was worried about everybody being in the house. I wanted them out of the house," he said.

Sending his wife and his neighbor to alert others on the street. Goss went to the house to the right of the flames. He banged on the door and then the window, he said, getting a garden hose ready for action.

"And that's when I got the neighbor to come out," he recalled, watching the video. "He comes out there and yell at me, 'What?' And I tell him, 'Man your house is on fire, dude.'"

Though a San Antonio Fire Department spokesman said the fire began at the home Goss visited, Goss said it actually began at the unoccupied house to the left. In any case, he said both were on fire by the time he got the water on for the hose.

Goss got close enough to the flames that he says he burned his hand, though his efforts did not appear to do much to stop the flames.

"I thought I was going to be able to shut it down ‘cuz it looked kind of low, but then it just seemed like more water I put on, the more the fire came up," he said.

Eventually his neighbor and the man he had warned joined him with more hoses, but the security video shows the fire continuing to blaze away.

When firefighters arrived, they called for backup. Even then, it took about an hour before the fire was fully knocked down.

In the end, the blaze did an estimated $400,000 in damage between the two homes. However, no one was injured.

"Eh man, it's material. That could be replaced," Goss said. "The kids and everybody else, you know? That's the most important thing -- family."

Not to mention good neighbors.


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