High heat prompts 2-alarm response to apartment fire

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist, Joe Herrera - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - High temperatures prompted San Antonio Fire Department officials to call a two-alarm response to a Southwest Side apartment fire Saturday, Fire Department spokesman Joe Arrington said.

Several units were called to the Establishment Apartments at 326 Whitewood St. around 3 p.m. and found a second-story balcony fully engulfed in flames, according to Arrington.

"A second alarm was requested just because of the high heat and because the potential for the fire to spread," Arrington said.

More than 100 firefighters were sent to the blaze.

While the flames spread to the attic of the apartment, Arrington said crews were able to put the fire out and are working on managing hot spots.

Arrington said the apartment building where the fire broke out has 16 units. Six are heavily damaged and two sustained minor smoke and water damage, according to Arrington.

He said that while the number is expected to rise as people return home, an estimated 18 people have been displaced by the fire.

One firefighter suffered a minor knee injury, Arrington said. No one else was injured.

Arrington said crews will be at the apartment for a few more hours, adding that the process will be "long (and) drawn out" because of the need to rotate crews at a faster rate due to the high heat. 

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