Early-morning fire destroys Northwest Side restaurant

Battalion chief had to call firefighters out of building, fire has continued to burn since

SAN ANTONIO – A fire has destroyed a Northwest Side restaurant and is giving fire crews all they can handle as the flames have yet to be extinguished as of early Thursday morning.

The fire was called in around 6:30 a.m. at the Jacala Mexican Restaurant in the 600 block of West Avenue, not far from West Hildebrand and Interstate 10.

According to San Antonio Fire Department Spokesman Woody Woodward, firefighters arrived to find both flames and smoke after they went into the building. They then began to put the fire out.

Woodward said as firefighters started opening up some areas, flames shot through the roof of the restaurant.

A battalion chief called the firefighters out of the building and the fire has continued to burn since. They have not yet been able to determine an exact cause.

A mexican restaurant on the north side was destroyed by flames early Thursday. (KSAT)

One of the owners of the restaurant, Cynthia Lambert, told KSAT 12 she is heartbroken about the fire. She said the restaurant was previously designated by the state as a Texas treasure and that the restaurant has about 50 employees.

Established in 1949, Jacala is known as the “oldest originally owned Mexican restaurant in San Antonio.”

Lambert said today they were planning a big event for St. Patrick’s Day and are not sure what they will do now, since Woodard said the building may need to be demolished.

Authorities also said while firefighters were on the scene, the driver of a truck had a medical episode and crashed into a fire truck. The driver was not hurt, and no charges are expected to be filed. No one on the fire truck was hurt.

According to the San Antonio Fire Department website, as many as 17 units answered the call. No injuries were reported.

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About the Authors

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

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