SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio arson investigators are looking into a series of fires late Thursday and early Friday involving vacant homes in one East side neighborhood.
The fires all broke out between 11 p.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. Friday, and had fire crews scrambling to put out the flames.
The most damaging destroyed a house in the 900 block of Dawson Street around 5 a.m. Friday and also put firefighters in a dangerous situation.
They had to back out of it and fight the fire from above, using an a hose from a ladder truck.
“It became an issue of, ‘We know it's a total loss. Now it becomes a dangerous structure,” said Battalion Chief Connie Hall, with the San Antonio Fire Department. “We were notified later, and therefore, it was fully involved at the time we arrived.
There wasn’t much firefighters could do to save that structure.
But they did make quick work of two earlier fires.
They arrived before 11 p.m. and put out the flames at a house in the 1400 block of E. Commerce Street.
A few hours later, they were in the 200 block of S. Olive charged with a similar task.
The fire on Dawson Street was the third one within a matter of a few short hours.
Before firefighters had finished packing up their gear, they got a call about a fourth fire in the 1000 block of Montana Street.
“There were no people in there. There are no injuries to civilians or firefighters. All four of these appear to be very suspicious in nature,” said Chief Charles Hood, who arrived at the Montana Street home, promising to get to the bottom of what has been going on.
Hood said arson investigators will do a thorough search of each site, looking for clues about what caused them.
“I can't link them right now but it is a pattern. It is concerning because it's probably not a coincidence,” Hood said. “We can bring the canines in. We can look for accelerants. We can take statements from the neighbors.”
Neighbors, he said, just might be the ones who help them solve this case.
Hood said it was neighbors who smelled smoke and alerted firefighters to at least one of the overnight fires, and he’s hoping everyone remains vigilant.
“If you smell something, say something,” Hood said. “If you see something unusual, say something and call 911.”