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No one in home at time of destructive house fire, chief says

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SAN ANTONIO – Firefighters are investigating what started a fire that caused significant damage to a home on the Far Northeast Side on Saturday afternoon.

Converse Fire Department Chief Luis Valdez said no one was inside the home in the 8700 block of Serene Ridge Drive when the fire broke out.

Valdez said when firefighters arrived at the scene, they saw heavy fire and smoke emanating from the home and conducted a search of the home for victims before tackling the flames.

Fire officials were initially unable to get in contact with the homeowners, but they arrived at the scene shortly after the fire. Valdez said the fact that no one was home allowed the fire to cause more damage.

"Oftentimes, when somebody's not home or there's not a smoke detector, smoke alarm or fire alarm going off, there is a delay in us being notified," Valdez said. "The fire gets an opportunity to grow, so by the time it's seen by anybody else, the smoke is rather large, and that's exactly what happened here. Somebody saw the black smoke, said there's smoke in the area and that's how it was called in."

Fire officials did not give an estimate as to how much damage the home sustained.

The homeowners' son said they moved in approximately two months ago.