Medical Center building collapses as fire crews battle flames

No injuries reported; building destroyed

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – An early-morning fire led to the collapse of parts of an office building in San Antonio’s Medical Center area.

Firefighters said a passerby called 911 after noticing smoke in the area around 3:30 a.m. Friday.

When fire crews arrived in the 4100 block of Medical Drive they also noticed flames but kept their distance from the building for safety reasons.

“They never went inside the building. They called it a defensive operation from the get-go,” said Battalion Chief Andrew Frawley with SAFD. “We had multiple collapses, and actually we had the first collapse not too long after the guys were actually operating.”

The fire sent up a thick cloud of black smoke that people as far away as Interstate 10 could see and smell.

Firefighters made it a priority to stop the flames from spreading.

What is left of the former two-story office building will have to be demolished. (KSAT 12 News)

The office building, which was unoccupied at the time, is close to several apartment complexes.

“The original goal was to contain it to this building, which was met,” Frawley said. “We don’t know the value of the building. We don’t know the cause and origin of the fire. We have no clue. We’re not even real sure what the building was used for.”

The building where the fire broke out is one of several in what appears to be a medical complex.

However, what is left of it won’t stand for long.

Frawley says he has contacted other departments with the city to take steps to tear down those ruins.

About the Authors

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.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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