SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County medical examiner on Tuesday identified a man San Antonio fire officials said they had trouble rescuing from a burning Northwest Side home Sunday afternoon, marking the city's third fatal fire of the year.
Edward Vasquez, 46, died in a house fire in the 100 block of Post Wood Drive Sunday afternoon. Firefighters said interior burglar bars and hoarding hampered firefighters' efforts to rescue him.
More than two dozen responding fire units encountered heavy fire and smoke coming from the residence when they arrived.
Fire Chief Charles Hood said that officials received several calls about someone inside the home. When firefighters attempted to search the residence, Hood said, it was "nearly impossible" for them to enter quickly.
"We're trying to get in in a smoky environment where we have zero visibility, and we're bumping into stored material, we're trying to force our way through boxes and storage items -- it's very difficult," Hood said, describing the challenges firefighters face when conducting a search in a cluttered home.
Hood said homeowners who have burglar bars should only have them on the exterior of the home.
"I have no doubt that the (interior) burglar bars and the large amount of fuel volume probably contributed to this fatality today, so that's very unfortunate," Hood said.
A chaplain was called out to offer the family support, Hood said.
Arson investigators are looking into what caused the fire.