Firefighters warn about dangers of barbecue grills after house fire near Helotes

Family member credits dog for alerting them to fire

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SAN ANTONIO – Firefighters who put out a destructive house fire in far northwest Bexar County say what happened is a reminder to exercise caution when using backyard barbecue grills.

"All the grease and everything else will fall to the bottom and then that can catch fire really easily," said Matthew Post, an engineer and public information officer for Bexar County District 7 Fire Rescue. "Those fires will get out of control because they have a fuel source."

That's exactly what Post and dozens of other firefighters found early Tuesday morning at the home in the 10600 block of Newcroft Lane. 

The initial calls that came in to 911 around 4 a.m. were for a fire in a barbecue grill.

Post said it quickly became much more.

"The fire started on the grill on the back patio and moved on to the structure itself," he said. "As we arrived on scene, fire was through the roof. No occupants were inside."

People evacuated from the home involved as well as the homes on either side of it.

Firefighters were concerned for a while that the fire might spread and they worked quickly to stop it.

"They were all evacuated and as we can see now. No structural damage was spread to any other households," Post said.

The fire caused quite a bit of damage to the home where it started, burning away most of the roof and damaging much of the contents.

Neighbors eventually were allowed to go back into their homes.

However, some didn't feel right about leaving the family who had lost nearly everything out in the street.

Several neighbors offered the family clothing and water, as well as a place to store the few possessions they were able to salvage.

A teenager who lived in the home that burned told KSAT 12 News he's grateful that his family survived.

He said they may owe their lives to their dog who barked and woke them up just in time.

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