SAN ANTONIO – A fire on the city’s West Side Monday morning destroyed a travel trailer, taking with it most of what Joe Ariaga and his girlfriend owned.
Ariaga said he was asleep when the fire broke out shortly after 7:30 a.m. in the 600 block of North San Eduardo Avenue.
“I’m telling you, when I say it went up, it went up real quick,” Ariaga said. “I just thank God that we’re still here.”
As soon as Ariaga realized what was happening, he grabbed a bucket of water and tried to douse the flames.
The battle left Ariaga with singed hair and soot all over his face.
Paramedics checked Ariaga out at the scene to make sure he was OK.
“The flames just started at the back, started right up in the back. Of course I inhaled some of the stuff,” he said.
Within minutes, more than a half dozen San Antonio Fire Department units had arrived.
SAFD Capt. Jeff Masters said the flames had engulfed the trailer by the time they arrived.
Masters said a neighbor told him the fire seemed to appear out of nowhere.
“He was just out here and didn’t see anything,” Masters said. “Then he walks back out with a second cup of coffee and the whole trailer was on fire.”
How the fire started is still not known, although Masters said there was a gasoline-powered generator inside the trailer.
Masters said one of the occupants had been working on it, trying to fix it.
Firefighters were just out at that location a few days ago when the home right next door caught fire.
Masters says at that time, firefighters found extension cords leading from the home that burned last week to the trailer, which had no electrical hookup.
However, he said the cause of that fire also remains under investigation.
“I just thank God that we’re still here,” Ariaga said.
In spite of all they’ve lost, Ariaga said he still has a reason to be grateful.