Clues point to suspicious fire at West Side warehouse

Chemicals, aerosols trigger small explosions in building on Pinn Road

SAN ANTONIO – A vacant warehouse on the city's West Side that burned for nearly eight hours is being investigated as a suspicious fire.

The fire in the 400 block of Pinn Road was reported just after 9 p.m. Monday at the headquarters of a former construction company.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy flames and several small explosions and fires triggered by chemicals and aerosols that forced firefighters to go on the defensive.

"We couldn't really get to the fire. The roof, itself, was metal, and flames weren't coming through the roof. And we didn't feel conditions were safe enough to send firefighters into the building," said San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward.

Fire officials decided to allow the fire to burn itself out, Woodward said.

"Our crews, once we were able to get a good visual of the inside, were immediately suspicious," Woodward said. "They did indicate that there were several points of original for the fire in this building, which is highly unusual."

While the fire may be suspicious, a cause may not be easy to pinpoint.

"Hopefully, we we will be able to do our investigation to determine a cause, but sometimes buildings can burn so completely it makes it nearly impossible to investigate," Woodward said.

The building is a total loss and no injuries were reported.

Fire officials said the owner was notified that the building was unsafe and will need to be torn down.

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