SAN ANTONIO – A huge fire that erupted in an East Side neighborhood and left a man with burns presented challenges to San Antonio firefighters that went beyond just the flames and smoke.
The crews began arriving in the 1900 block of Nolan Street before 6 a.m. Thursday.
Firefighters immediately noticed flames shooting through the roof of one residence and threatening others around it.
However, they had trouble accessing the hydrants and getting enough water right away.
“We had big problem with crowd control,” said Battalion Chief Connie Hall with SAFD. “We had a big problem with people blocking the street. It was very difficult for the other engine companies to come in and get the supply lines.
Due to the delay, the fire was able to spread from the home where it started to a house next door and a duplex behind it, Hall said.
Firefighters quickly realized, though, that there was more than those homes at stake.
Neighbors told them there was a man trapped inside the home where the fire started
“The guys got in there and got him out, which is pretty terrifying,” Hall said, speaking of how firefighters had to enter the burning building.
The man suffered burns and was rushed to a hospital for treatment.
Six people were in the home next door and escaped uninjured along with their two dogs, according to a relative.
It’s unclear how many people were living in the duplex behind those homes that also caught fire.
However, Hall said as many as 10 people in all were displaced.
This was the third rescue this week for this particular group of firefighters, according to Hall.
They also pulled a man from his burning home on Lakefront Drive on Wednesday morning.
According to Chief Charles Hood, the fire was started by something that was left cooking on a stove.
The 86-year-old man was treated at a hospital for burns and possible smoke inhalation.
Another man was injured in an explosion and fire in the 1700 block of E. Highland.
In that case, neighbors helped to pull the man out of his home.
Fire investigators said it appears a problem with a gas line started that fire.
Arson investigators are looking into the cause of the latest fire that damaged the three homes on Nolan Street.