Mother says she could only grab her daughter before flames engulfed apartment

Three-alarm fire at Villa Rodriguez Apartments classified as undetermined

SAN ANTONIO – A woman said she only had time to grab her 2-year-old daughter and flee before the building she lived in at the Villa Rodriguez apartment complex was engulfed in flames just after 11 p.m. Wednesday.

“A cop was banging on the door, and I got up and I immediately smelled smoke. … I grabbed my daughter and I left,” said Alejandra Rodriguez, who lived in her apartment for two years.

The harsh reality is still setting in for Rodriguez.

“I was holding up all the emotions because I didn't want to scare my daughter last night. And seeing it now, we're just like … (it's) too much,” Rodriguez said.

FIRST REPORT: Apartment residents displaced after 3-alarm fire on NE Side

Only the shell of the apartment is still standing. The inside is so badly charred that people can't even get inside. Rodriguez said that’s a problem for her because everything she owned was in the apartment.

“I'm trying to get help, but they're asking for ID, and so I thought maybe they could get my bag for me,” Rodriguez said.

On Thursday, fire officials said that while they believe it may have been a cigarette that caused the fire, they aren’t able to say that definitively, so the cause is listed as undetermined.

The building, which was a total loss, is set to be demolished. Because it’s not stable, a guard standing by told KSAT that anyone who tries to go inside is subject to arrest.

Rodriguez said she and her daughter will be staying with her brother for the time being. The American Red Cross has stepped in to help the displaced families.

About the Authors

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.

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