SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – People who live near a West Side convenience store that was destroyed by a fire Monday night say they’re feeling the loss.
The business known as “Food Mart Mom and Pop’s” caught fire around 9:30 p.m.
“All the flames were, like, they were so big. All you can hear is everything exploding,” said Rosa Castaneda, a regular customer.
She and many others either walked or drove by the 1300 block of Culebra Road Tuesday morning to survey the damage.
Firefighters say they faced a losing battle even before they unraveled their hoses.
The fire seemed to have a headstart.
“Basically, when we got here there was fire through the roof, burned out through the roof,” said Battalion Chief Mark Trevino with the San Antonio Fire Department.
They fought the fire as best as they could, using aerial hoses to pour water on it.
Trevino said the business was full of merchandise which acted as fuel to the fire, making it difficult to extinguish.
“I passed by the store earlier from coming to get pizza and the store, you know, was closed,” said Keshia Porter who lives in the area. “All of a sudden, about 45 minutes later, it went up in flames.”
Porter and a friend, Vanessa Wright, returned to the scene after daylight unable to believe what they were seeing.
“We’re gonna miss Mom and Pop’s,” Wright said.
Both women say the business was one of only a few stores within walking distance from their homes.
“These store people are really good to everybody that's over here,” Porter said.
Firefighters said no one was inside the store when the fire broke out and there were no injuries.
The building, though, is beyond repair.
Trevino said the portion that is still standing is unstable and will need to be demolished.
“We've applied a lot of water to make sure everything was out so there's not going to be anything salvageable but the lot, itself,” he said.
Arson investigators were called in to find the cause of the fire.
As of Tuesday morning, they still had not made a determination, according to a fire department spokesman.