Fire victim: ‘I have nothing with me’

More than 50 people displaced after fire at Whitefield Place Apartments

SAN ANTONIO – For Velma Mace, living on a fixed income just got even harder.

Mace is without a place to call home after a huge fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Whitefield Place Apartments.

“I noticed my dog was acting strange and I brought him out because I thought he had to go potty, so I brought him out. And then I heard dogs barking, and that should’ve told me something right there,” Mace said.

At first, Mace had no idea the building the single grandmother lived in for about six years was on fire or that it started in an apartment right above her unit.

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"Ten minutes later, they’re banging on the door,” Mace said.

She grabbed her dog, Doby, and left as quickly as possible.

“The fireman had to go back and get the turtle and the bird because I forgot them,” Mace said. "All my credentials are inside. I have no ID. I have nothing with me.”

Mace had just finished decorating for the Christmas holiday and was preparing to have her grandchildren come over for the weekend, but now with water and smoke damage, she’s not sure if she can live in her apartment anymore. Yet, she still can’t help but think about some of her neighbors who now don’t have a place to call home.

“There were 16 apartments, and they’re all out of a home. A lot of them had children. They said there were 35 adults and 20 children,” she said.

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Mace has a niece close by who she can stay with until she figures things out, but that isn’t the case for all of the victims.

To find how you can help the fire victims, call the Red Cross at 210-224-5151

No one was hurt in the fire.

Officials said the cause of the fire remains undetermined.

About the Authors

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.

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