‘Flames were in our face’: Family escapes West Side house fire with only the clothes on their backs

SAFD: Damage so extensive that the cause is undetermined

SAN ANTONIO – Standing in a pair of blue galoshes he found in the debris, Barry McKinnley said he and his sister, Angenette, escaped their burning home with only the clothes on their backs and no shoes on Sunday.

“We didn’t have a chance to grab anything,” McKinnley said.

fast-moving fire in the 200 block of Segura consumed the longtime family home they shared with their late parents before the flames jumped on the roof of the house next door.

A spokesman for the San Antonio Fire Department says only the first house was a total loss. He said the damage was so extensive, the cause is still undetermined.

Inside their home, McKinley said, was everything they owned and needed, especially now.

“Our cell phones were gone. I mean, everything,” McKinnley said. “All our birth certificates -- gone. All of our personal items are gone.”

He said they’d been forced to run out the back door.

“The flames were already right in our face,” he said.

Trapped inside the rear of the house, McKinnley said, were their two dogs and four cats. He said not even the firefighters could rescue them.

“We had them a long time. It hurts,” McKinnley said. “One of them, actually, you could hear him taking his last breath.”

McKinnley said he appreciates the kindness they’ve been shown by the American Red Cross, a friend who’d offered them a place to stay, and the generosity of Kym’s Kupboard and Kym’s Closet, just a few blocks away in the 200 block of Purcell Ave.

McKinnley, who was told to pick what he liked from its donations of food, shoes and clothing, said, “I’m not choosy.”

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.