SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE: Goodwill says the Austin Highway location will be closed until further notice. However, workers said they will still be accepting donations on site via a trailer parked near the side of the donation station from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until the location is up and running again.
A fire destroyed donations worth tens of thousands of dollars that were intended for a Goodwill store on the city's Northeast Side.
Firefighters were called to the store around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 1500 block of Austin Highway and found smoke coming from a trailer that was parked at the back door.
"The trailer was contained and locked, and the building was contained and locked," said Capt. John Flores, of the San Antonio Fire Department. "Once we forced entry from the building to the trailer, that's when all the smoke and heat started to pour into the building."
Since there was no truck attached to the front of the trailer, Goodwill had to bring one in to move the trailer and its smoldering contents away from the building, Flores said.
"We were lucky to not have any damage to the structure at all. But the trailer's a complete loss," he said. "Giant, blue carts full of clothes, shoes, et cetera. There were no electronics and no obvious ignition sources."
Flores said the trailer was loaded with items that were donated to Goodwill and were due to be off-loaded into the store Wednesday.
Goodwill sells donated used clothing, furniture and other items in order to generate money for the charity that helps others in the community.
"To have a trailer full of donations damaged does impact our ability to provide those to our shoppers," said Penny Benavidez, director of marketing and public relations for Goodwill.
Firefighters estimated the damage to the trailer's contents at $20,000 to $30,000.
While that adds up to a sizable hit to the charity, Benavidez said thankfully, there were no casualties.
"We did get all of our team members out safely and securely, and they responded appropriately," she said.
The store had not opened yet for business at the time of the fire.
Benavidez said it will remain closed for at least the rest of the day.