Burglar bars slow down fire crews at scene of deadly house fire

Man found dead inside what should have been vacant home

San Antonio firefighters say burglar bars kept them from getting inside a home south of downtown where they later found a man dead early Monday morning.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio firefighters say burglar bars kept them from getting inside a home south of downtown where they later found a man dead early Monday morning.

They found flames and smoke already coming from the backside of a building in the 4300 block of S. Flores Street when they arrived just before 5 a.m.

“They attempted to make entry but the fire was so large that the battalion chief called the crews out,” said Woody Woodward, a public information officer for SAFD.

Fire crews continued battling the fire from outside.

The building, which appeared to be an old storefront with a home attached to the back of it, was supposed to be vacant.

However, once they made entry into the building, firefighters found a man dead on the floor near his wheelchair.

Woodward said he appeared to be in his 40s or 50s.

According to firefighters, the man, who has not been identified, was not a legal tenant of the home.

He is the 11th person to die in a fire in San Antonio so far this year.

Woodward said the list of fire fatalities this year is unusually long.

“We’ve seen a lot of seniors. We’ve seen a lot of clutter and we’ve seen a lot of homes with no smoke detectors,” he said.

This latest home was among those with no working smoke detectors.

Although the victim was not supposed to be living in the home, Woodward said a smoke detector still may have saved his life.

He encouraged everyone to become familiar with a fire prevention program that SAFD has instituted.

Information on the program, S. C. A. N., can be found here.


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.