'I don’t want my place to burn again’: West Side boxing gym fire leads to arson investigation

The Advocates Boxing Youth Program just recovered from a previous fire last year

Arson investigation underway after fire at Advocates Boxing Gym

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Fire Department are investigating arson after a fire broke out in the 1600 block of Buena Vista Street Friday afternoon.

San Antonio Fire Department said the fire ignited around 2 p.m. in a four-car garage that a local non-profit uses for storage.

The Advocates Boxing Youth program stored equipment that was donated to them after a separate fire last March.

Executive Director Jason Mata said he doesn’t know how they will recover.

“We were really close to recuperating from the last fire before today,” said Mata.

Mattresses were stacked up near the building and somehow caught fire, according to fire officials.

Mata said the area has been known to attract homeless groups. He believed the fire was intentionally set and he has asked the city to step in and help.

“I’m telling them I don’t want my pace to burn again. I’m telling them, ‘let’s avoid this tragedy,’” he said.

Plumes of smoke visible for miles as fire burns at business south of downtown

The fire caused around $10K in damages but no injuries were reported.

The program has helped youth gain confidence through boxing but he is worried how they will continue if something isn’t done.

“Look at the damage of what it’s going to do to our program,” Mata said.

District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales has received Mata’s concerns. She told KSAT her office will work with authorities to determine if homeless people started the fire.

She said once the investigation is complete, they will figure out the next steps.

About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.