Cause of fire that displaced families at North Side apartment complex still unknown

About 12 units burned, damaged at Willow Run Apartments on South Sea Lane

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SAN ANTONIO – Arson investigators are still looking into the cause of a fire Sunday night that displaced about a dozen families at a North Side apartment complex.

A spokesman said Monday morning that there is still "an open investigation" surrounding the fire.

Firefighters found huge flames shooting through the roof in one section of a building at the Willow Run Apartments in the 7500 block of South Sea Lane.

They also found two people trapped in a second floor unit of the complex.

"There were people jumping out of windows," said apartment resident Michael Ochoa, whose apartment was not damaged. "There were ladders, people coming out, people jumping over railings."

Ochoa arrived home shortly after 9:30 p.m. Sunday, just in time to see the chaos.

People throughout the complex had either gotten out of their homes on their own or had been alerted by neighbors.

Ochoa said somehow his mother missed all of the commotion.

"I just went inside, grabbed my mom and made sure she was OK. She was asleep, so I'm glad I got there just in time," he said.

Robert Castro had come home to check on his own family.

"Everybody, just whatever they had on, got out. Neighbors knocking on doors," Castro said.

On Monday morning, Castro was outside taking in the view of the destruction in the daylight.

"I feel sorry for all the families that live over there," he said, pointing to the burned units.

Castro's home was spared from the fire and water damage that ravaged his neighbors' apartments.

But he had to start the work week without all the comforts of home.

"For safety reasons, they turned off all the power, and it still hasn't come on," Castro said. "No heat. No nothing."

Castro is grateful that he and his family still have a place to call home.

His neighbors, meanwhile, are not sure where they'll end up.

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.