Couple, pets safely escape house fire on NE Side

Firefighters not sure how fire started in garage at home on Thistledown

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SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio fire investigators are working to find out what caused a fire in a garage that ultimately spread to the Northeast Side home attached to it.

The flames broke out early Friday morning in the 12600 block of Thistledown, near Thousand Oaks Drive and Uhr Lane.

Joaquin Pagan said he and his wife, Amalia Forina, were sleeping a second-floor bedroom when he heard what sounded like an explosion behind his home.

"I ran down the stairs, thinking my wife was in the garage," he said. "The garage was on fire. I started screaming her name." But Forina was still inside the home at that time.

It turns out that what he heard were most likely tires exploding.

The couple's two cars, which were parked near the garage, were damaged by the fire.

Pagan said he also had a new motorcycle, which had just arrived on Thursday, inside the garage.

She and her husband, along with their pets, eventually made it out safely, although without much else.

"It burned my arm hair and the top of my head, but otherwise we got out safe," Pagan said.

Firefighters tried to save what was inside the home from the flames.

"It's been a really stubborn fire. It's gotten in between the floors and the walls," said Joseph Arrington, a public information officer for the San Antonio Fire Department.

At the height of the fire, there were 25 fire units at the scene.

Arrington said the first crews that arrived had called in backup units to help.

"Mainly as a precautionary, because of the proximity of the houses to each other on this street being close together," he said.

Forina stood nearby watching as everything she owned was on the line.

"That was what was worrying me the most, losing those pictures of the kids when they were babies," Forina said.

After knocking down the flames, firefighters went inside the home and retrieved Forina's family photos, bringing a smile to her face.

About the Author:

Katrina Webber was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas.