SAN ANTONIO – A fire that was thought to have damaged two businesses, a home and some apartments on the Southwest Side actually caused an even greater loss for one man.
Charles Gutierrez owns a car restoration shop, the single business which occupied all of that space in the 1100 block of Quintana Road, that went up in flames late Sunday night.
He said he heard about the fire shortly after 10 p.m. in a phone call from a friend and rushed over to the property.
“By the time I got here, it was pretty much gone,” he said. “It was pretty ate up by the fire.”
While Gutierrez was saddened about the destruction of his building, it was the loss of all that was inside that devastated him.
He used the property to restore classic cars. Several of the vehicles there belonged to generations of his family and were destroyed.
“(They) have a lot of sentimental value, and it’s a pretty big hit for us,” Gutierrez said.
The biggest single loss for him, however, was the destruction of an Oldsmobile Cutlass which had a custom paint job in honor of his late brother.
“A mural of him,” he said. “That’s the car that he was working on when he passed. My other brother worked on it and got it running.”
Gutierrez now is focusing on all the work he has ahead.
He picked up a broom and began sweeping the stoop of the building Monday morning as piles of twisted metal and charred wood surrounded him.
He said he’s counting on family and friends to help him pick up the pieces in more ways than one.
“Just hope for the best, try to get back on our feet, and just keep going,” he said.
The San Antonio Fire Department’s arson investigators are still working to determine how the fire started.