Father of four thankful family is alive after massive Medical Center apartment fire

Several residents say no smoke alarms, smoke detectors were working at the time of the fire

San Antonio – A father of four is devastated after losing everything in an apartment fire at the Residences at Medical Apartments in the Medical Center area early Monday morning.

Amner Contreras said he was sleeping when the blaze started.

“I could smell it, you know?” he said. “My wife was sleeping. I was sleeping. My dad was sleeping. I keep smelling this stuff, and I wake up, and the fire is big on the roof.”

Contreras said he noticed his smoke alarm wasn’t working, but he got his family out safely.

“At that point, you know, you don’t have time to put anything in hand. You just get your family and go. The smoke was so thick. I had to go back to get my little one. I have four daughters, and I counted only three when we were outside. I ran back to get the little one,” Contreras said.

Contreras and seven other families made it out uninjured. Even though the apartment complex provided a temporary unit for families to stay in, Contreras is devastated that he has to start all over to rebuild their lives.

“All of my money and everything is in there,” he said. “It is hard, you know? You have your house and your stuff. You know -- how many years you work for that stuff. I am in construction. It is hard for me.”

Contreras said the American Red Cross is assisting them, but he hopes the apartment complex does a better job with maintaining smoke alarms and the needs of its residents.

KSAT reached out to the apartment complex’s corporate office in Austin. We have not received a response.

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.