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Firefighters struggle to find sufficient water supply to combat 2-alarm chimney fire

14 displaced, 4 units demolished, fire chief says

SAN ANTONIO – Nearly 30 fire units were called to a North Side apartment Tuesday after a resident's attempt to kindle a fire in their fireplace failed, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.

Firefighters were called to the Park at Walker's Ranch apartment complex in the 14500 block of Blanco Road around 1 p.m. for what Hood described as a chimney fire.

"The owner of the apartment said they were starting a fire in the fireplace and the fire came out instead of going up," Hood said.

Hood said the fire spread to the attic, prompting firefighters to call a second alarm to the scene. In addition to the fast-spreading flames, Hood said firefighters experienced water supply issues that forced first responders to resort to a hydrant across the highway.

"We weren't getting a sufficient amount of water (out of the fire hydrants on the property) when we started operating defensively, so we're going to look at that," Hood said.

Hood said that while firefighters typically prefer using city fire hydrants, the closest ones were on the property. He said the Fire Department will work with the San Antonio Water System in the coming days to figure out why the hydrants lacked a sufficient water supply.

"Sometimes (apartment fire hydrants) have issues, as any plugs do, so that's just something that we'll have to follow up on," Hood said. "But we did have to get additional supply lines to get the water that we needed."

Authorities said no one was injured in the fire and that 14 people, including two children, are displaced. Hood said that four units were completely demolished by the fire and the rest will have smoke damage.

Firefighters are working with the apartment complex to ensure everyone has a place to go.

Animal Care Services is helping one family who was unable to find its cat.

Hood said that the timing of the fire was ideal, as many people were not home. He said firefighters were able to go into six apartments and cover or remove residents' belongings so they weren't damaged by the flames.

The San Antonio Fire Department said the cause of the fire was accidental and caused $900,000 worth of damage. 

Information on Park at Walker's Ranch Apartment Fire

Fire officials are providing information on a fire that broke out at the Park at Walker's Ranch apartments in the 14500 block of Blanco Road. STORY: https://www.ksat.com/news/firefighters-struggle-to-find-sufficient-water-supply-to-combat-apartment-fire

Posted by KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Fire, park at walkers ranch

BREAKING: This is another shot of crews battling a fire at the Park at Walker's Ranch in the 14500 block of Blanco Road. DETAILS: https://www.ksat.com/news/firefighters-struggle-to-find-sufficient-water-supply-to-combat-apartment-fire

Posted by KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Tuesday, January 1, 2019